New Delhi, Jan 9: Students of Jawaharlal Nehru University today organised a "Rainbow Walk" to protest against growing homophobia on campus and sensitise the student community to celebrate gender diversity.
Led by the JNU Students' Union (JNUSU) and other queer rights' group, the "Rainbow Walk: Queering the Campus," which began from Ganga Dhaba on the premises, aimed to protest the vandalism of the symbolic "Rainbow Tree" on December 28, 2014.
"In 2013, the Supreme Court had set aside the landmark Delhi High Court which decriminalised homosexuality. To protest against this verdict and also to celebrate one's right to sexual freedom and identity, some of us created a Rainbow Tree (here)," JNUSU President Ashutosh Kumar said.
The trunk of the tree was tied with ribbons of the colours of rainbow. Colourful strings were slashed using a knife, said Gaurab Ghosh, a queer rights' activist. Calling this vandalism a bout of "virulent homophobia," Ghosh said, through this walk the aim was to share stories of love and struggle that are an everyday part of LGBTQ lives.
Students were seen tying strings of rainbow coloured ribbons, painting dhabas, holding discussions about celebrating gender diversity on campus. According to Kumar, though JNU is a very politically active campus yet the existing homophobia and misogyny can be felt quite often, perhaps everyday.
'Anjuman', a queer collective which came into existence in 2003 in JNU had to face humiliation, he alleged. The homophobic attitude was seen when posters of 'Dhanak', another queer support and cultural group, were torn and vandalised, he added.