Not a Word for Gays; Not a Word for Lesbians; Not a Word for Bisexuals in BJP’s Election Manifesto, 2024!

by P.S. Sahni & Shobha Aggarwal

BJP Manifesto 2024

Not surprising though, but cannot be left uncommented upon. Nazi Germany exterminated gays and lesbians. Modi’s BJP is making gays, lesbians and bisexuals invisible, marginalized; not even worthy of mention in their election manifesto. This shows BJP’s intent. The gay, lesbian, bisexual community better get its act together now; else it would be too late.

The gays, lesbians and bisexuals are being treated the way Muslims in India are dealt with. Just see the Muslim communities very low representation in Parliament. The BJP does not field Muslim candidates in elections. In the last decade the residential, commercial properties belonging to Muslims are being bulldozed and razed to the ground. Judiciary has termed this as ethnic cleansing.

Ever since we at ABVA, released the report ‘Less than Gay’ in 1992 – which included a sixteen point Charter of Demands (Gay Manifesto), regular attempts have been made by us to send letters to MPs and major political parties requesting them to raise the issue in Parliament. A few non-BJP members have tried to introduce private members’ bills. But the BJP MPs have stalled their Introduction. The BJP treats gays, lesbians and bisexuals as persona non grata.

When the issue of same-sex marriage was being adjudicated by a five judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court of India, the BJP opposed the demand. Both the Solicitor General and the Attorney General for India resisted the Petitioners’ demands. The Solicitor General even suggested to the judges to let Parliament decide. Of course, whenever the issue was raised in Parliament by MPs from Indian National Congress, DMK and (erstwhile) NCP, the BJP MPs opposed these efforts.

The BJP’s election manifesto has thrown crumbs at the transgender community. The BJP has promised to expand the Rs. Five Lakh health insurance cover to include senior citizens over 70 years of age and transgenders. The BJP is using the same British ‘divide and rule’ policy. The unity of LGBTQIA community is sought to be disturbed thus – crumbs for the transgenders and nothing at all for gays, lesbians and bisexuals.

Even this public display of concern for transgenders has inbuilt biases. All transgenders whether teenagers/middle aged/older will be clubbed with senior citizens of over 70 years. While these citizens over 70 years of age may have health issues and need medical treatment for their diseases, is the BJP insinuating that transgenders are diseased? If this be so, it displays a fascist mindset.

P.S. Sahni & Shobha Aggarwal are members of ABVA.


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