India's LGBTQIA+ Community Released Their Own Version of the National Anthem

This 15th August, while the country ushered in its 73rd year of Independence, the LGBTQIA+ community in India celebrated its first Independence Day by releasing their own version of the National Anthem, and noting ‘a new era of independence’.

When the Supreme Court of India partially struck down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalised homosexuality, it enabled the LGBTQIA+ community to openly express their sexuality.

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Here’s the lowdown

The film was created by Humsafar Trust, a forerunner in the fight for LGBTQIA+ rights in Asia, in collaboration with IPG Mediabrands India. It was released on Independence Day 2019, in honour of the activists and advocates who have struggled for equality and who ‘inspired the change’.

It features a rendition of the National Anthem, with prominent personalities—like Founder and Chairperson of Humsafar Trust Ashok Row Kavi, filmmaker Onir, Founder of The Naz Foundation Anjali Gopalan, among others—standing with pride for it.

Check out the video here!

The Humsafar Trust shared the video with expressions of joy at celebrating the first Independence Day with the LGBTQIA+ community.

The video was received with celebratory praise from Twitterati. Filmmaker Apurva Asrani, who is also a part of the video, tweeted:

He later shared that the National Anthem film would be played in ‘all PVR Cinemas in 8 metros’ on Independence Day.

The All India Mahila Congress came out in support of the initiative, alluding to the fact that it featured those Indians, ‘who were called criminals’ until recently.

Despite attitudes changing slowly, people in India still face discrimination based on their sexuality. We, as a country, have a long way to go to further the conversation on PRIDE. In such an environment, this beautiful and heartwarming video provides inspiration and support to everyone. What a great time to be alive!

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