Secular Humanism

Bangalore Pride March 2012

The 5th annual celebrations and the queer Pride festival in Bangalore started on November 22 2012 and culminated in the march on December 2012. The celebrations are organised by the Coalition for Sexual Minority Rights (CSMR).

The list of events that were part of the pride festival are mentioned in the pride site –

On December 2, 2012 attired in colourful costumes and dancing to the beat of drums, Over a thousand people belonging to the LGBTQ community and their supporters took out a march from Tulsi Park to Townhall. It was very heartening to see people of all sexuality, gender identity, social status march together as one in a disciplined manner for a common cause.

Some sources even quoted the number of people who took part in the march as anywhere between 2000 to 5000.

This year, the event received a lot more media attention, both national and international. There were many straight-allies and corporate groups like google, IBM, Goldman Sachs to a name a few.
This march saw a large number of younger people, indicating that the growing generation is turning out to be more comfortable with their sexual and gender identities.

A number of demands were made in the press release material two important demands being:

  1. Review laws on adoption, marriage, inheritance to accommodate all alternative family structures formed by the LGBT community.
  2. Repeal the Karnataka Police Act 36 (A) as it violates the fundamental rights of the hijra community. The community has demanded that the government must make necessary provisions for free Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS), hormone replacement treatment and counselling in government hospitals.

A member from the community recollected the following incident:

“At the end of it, a passer-by came by and asked, “are there really so many people like this in bangalore?” “Many, many more. This is a sample only.” I said.

He thought for a second and said, “fine, but why do you get together and march like this?”.

“So, you and others who didn’t know about us do, and you can get to know us.”

He nodded, walked around and then away.”

A few links to the media coverage:

About the author


Secular Humanist who strongly believes in the dictum of "live and let live", follows it and tries my best to stand for people from whom the right to live their life the way they want is not allowed.


  • I find it hard to subtract the derogatory connotations from the word “queer”. Can we not find a better substitute without running the risk of euphemizing?

    On a related note, how does the word “gay” translate in other Indian languages?

  • “Repeal the Karnataka Police Act 36 (A) as it violates the fundamental rights of the hijra community.”

    Didn’t know what it is, so I looked it up using Google and found a link of New Indian Express which states- “According to the Section 36A of Police Act entitled ‘power to regulate eunuchs’ empowers the commissioner to pass orders to maintain a register on names and places of all the transgenders, who are reasonably suspected of kidnapping or emasculating boys, committing unnatural offences, or any other offences.”

    So those hijras are offended that the Karnataka Police has to maintain a register of names and places of all the transgenders. Far from complaining, they should be happy that they can get away with that, for if they commit half the crimes they do in those ‘liberal, humanist western nations’ (that Indian human rights advocates are quick to compare India with), they would be behind bars and the registers their names will be entered in will be prison roll calls.

    In Chennai (and perhaps in many other cities in India), gangs of hijras roam and terrorize others, including women, often snatching their handbags/wallets in full daylight in a bold fashion, snatch 500 or 1000 rupee notes, and throw the bags/wallets back at the victims, often in a contemptuous manner. There have been many instances of hijras slapping men just for fun and getting away with it, even in the presence of policemen. It seems that, if anything, the hijras are enjoying a special status and immunity from any police action.

    Sorry, most of the public, including me, do not feel any sympathy for these goons, given their disgusting criminal behaviour.

    • Just because some people commit crimes, it suddenly is okay to create special laws to target an entire group? It can’t get any more bigoted than this given that there already are laws to handle the cases you listed.

      • The truth is, the police do not want to deal with hijras one way or another for fear of protests and accusations of harassment and what not. In Chennai, constables refuse to register complaints against them. At least by having a register, if any serious crimes take place, it becomes easier to track them down.

        Also, the registry needs to be maintained only for those who go on rounds begging and extorting shopkeepers, etc. Licenses are required for almost any other profession, so why should hijras be exempted? Also registration should be required only for those transsexuals who have begging as a profession. Others, who are part of the mainstream and behave decently, can be exempted.

        • Really? Police are afraid of one of the weakest communities in India? When did that happen? So your excuse for your bigotry is that Police are looking for excuses to not do their job? Pathetic.

          • You can’t simply label or make ad-hominem accusations like bigotry, bigot, etc if you can’t understand what the other person is trying to say.
            I’ve had my private parts touched by hijras, heard dirty talk from them, have been harassed for long periods of time to give up some cash. These cannot be instances of a community who are weak or who are demonized by the public. The public do not care much if a gang of crook hijras attack a passerby for cash.

            Also, I’ve seen a few hijras work at tea stalls or other places doing dignified work and earning money honestly. ‘Hijra begging’ if there can be a term for this must be made illegal because destitute boys are taken by them and they are emasculated. All these criminal acts will not be accepted in any western country.

            Again it may not be possible to criminalize ‘Hijra Begging’ because reality is much more complicated, but there need to be stricter laws against hijra begging. Those hijras in respectable jobs need to be given more protection and rights so that they continue to stay in that profession rather than resort to begging.

          • It would help if you actually bother to read up on hijra communities instead of putting up your pre-conceived notions up for display. Most don’t go into begging by choice, but are forced to because society can’t tolerate seeing them just be as themselves in everyday life. And some of the beggars aren’t even transgendered. They are heterosexuals who dress like hijras.

            In Western countries there are laws which protect against discrimination when hiring (the laws are not perfect but they are a good start). In India, there is no such enforcement. So it is pointless to cite a crime and say that it is unacceptable in western countries, so we need a special law to discriminate more. It’s no different than Shiv Sena’s targeting of Biharis. What’s needed is strengthening of existing laws.

            Also note that the laws says “unnatural offences”. It means anything that is not heterosexual. So the law actually targets the sexuality of hijras.

            So if you can’t acknowledge that hijras are forced into begging, and then demand that they be discriminated against more, then you hold bigoted views. That’s not an ad-hominem. That’s calling it like it is.

  • For more information on LGBT community, do attend Good As You Meetings. We meet every Thursday between 6 to 9 pm at swabhava, sampangiramnagar Bangalore. for more details contact 080 22230959…
    There is also Bangalore Queer Film Festival coming up in February. Contact Swabhava for more details.
    Thank you all for the interest shown towards community

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