‘Azadi’ Slogans Raised at Pune’s LGBTI Pride March
(Photo: Ashish Dikshit)
(Photo: Ashish Dikshit)

‘Azadi’ Slogans Raised at Pune’s LGBTI Pride March

As India celebrates 100 years of Lokmanya Tilak’s famous slogan that shook the roots of British Empire in India – ‘Freedom is my birth right and I shall have it’ – today, his hometown Pune witnessed azadi slogans yet again! It was the 6th Pune LGBTI Pride March organised by Samapathik Trust.

Here are the 5 things you need to know about this march:

1. Theme for 2016: Inclusivity at Workplace

(Photo: Ashish Dikshit)
(Photo: Ashish Dikshit)

Several companies including Symantic, IBM and Infosys expressed solidarity with the movement.

Through this march, we like to give out a message that as more and more lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender come out openly, companies should take proactive initiatives and establish a non-discrimination policy at the workplace.
Bindumadhav Khire, President, Samapathik Trust

2. Slogans: Love, Sex and Azadi

(Photo: Ashish Dikshit)
(Photo: Ashish Dikshit)

Azadi is the word of the season. The famous slogan, which got popular after JNU row, has become part of the Queer movement. “1,2,3,4 Open the closet door, 5,6,7,8 Don’t assume yours kids are straight” was another favourite slogan, apart from many other Marathi and Hindi slogans.

3. Rainbow Umbrellas With Rainbow Flag

(Photo: Ashish Dikshit)
(Photo: Ashish Dikshit)

Though incessant rain prevented many from participating, it could not dampen the spirit of those who turned up. In fact, youngsters opened their beautiful rainbow coloured umbrellas, which went perfectly with the theme!

4. 'Straight' Into the Heart of City

Pride March passing in front of famous Vaishali restaurant, which is an <i>adda</i> of young Punekars. (Photo: Ashish Dikshit)
Pride March passing in front of famous Vaishali restaurant, which is an adda of young Punekars. (Photo: Ashish Dikshit)

Earlier, Pune Pride March would pass through the old part of the city. Now, it goes through areas like JM Road, Deccan, Furgesson College Road, which are in the heart of the city and are frequented by college-goers.

5. Masks Fall Off

(Photo: Ashish Dikshit)
(Photo: Ashish Dikshit)

Every Pride March is attended by several closeted members of the community who prefer wearing masks to protect their identities. This year, only one person was seen wearing a mask.

(Photo: Ashish Dikshit)
(Photo: Ashish Dikshit)
The fear, which we saw 6 years ago when we started, is gone. Environment is better as acceptance is on the rise. So people feel safe disclosing their identities. We didn’t get permissions in time, so we got little time to inform people, otherwise the turnout would have been much more. But we’re satisfied that hundred of LGBTI persons walked the March with their families today.
Tinesh Chopde, Organiser

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