New LGBT campaign against moral policing receiving praise and flak across India

Updated: Nov 17, 2014, 09:15 IST | Varun Singh |

To support the Kiss of Love campaign, the Gaysi Family (Gay Desi community) decided to donate half kg of rice to an NGO for women and runaway girls for every photo they receive of people kissing

The non-violent ‘Kiss of Love’ campaign against moral policing has received both praise and flak in different parts of the country over the last couple of weeks.

Activist Harish Iyer
Activist Harish Iyer also contributed to the cause by sending a kissing photo with a member of the transgender community

Novel approach
But back home in Mumbai, the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community decided to take a novel approach to support it. Instead of going out on the streets to campaign, the Gaysi Family (Gay Desi community) asked couples to send photos of them kissing. The community pledged to donate half kg of rice to an NGO working for women — Urja — for every photo they receive.

While the campaign was only for a few hours, they received 20 photos and donated the rice to the NGO on Saturday.
The ‘Kiss of Love’ protest against moral policing by right-wing organisations was carried out mostly in the Capital. However, after the crackdown on protesters by the police, the Gaysi Family decided to support the cause in its own way.

“We wanted to incentivise people to kiss, and what better way to do this than contributing to an NGO which is working for the greater movement of equal rights. We decided to donate to Urja because they are working at the grassroots level. Our plan was simple: kiss a lot to get the rice cooker working,” said MJ, a member of the Gaysi family.

The campaign also received support from equal-rights activist Harish Iyer, who became a household name after being featured in Aamir Khan’s talk show Satyamev Jayate.

“Moral policing organisations use the age-old trick to malign and discourage anyone from protesting for the greater good, which means that they decided to choose one cause over the other. I have always said that it is not a battle of causes,” Iyer said.

“Urja has been working for women and runaway girls and has its heart in the right place. These girls are taking support from the NGO for the same reason, as they are the product of the same mindset that the moral goons use against the Kiss of Love campaign,” said Iyer.

He advised, “I think we should all kiss every day. It burns calories and kills prejudice. And now, it also helps the cause of women upliftment.”

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