Crackdown on Gay Party In India

Indian officials struggle to strike a balance in their ever-changing cultural landscape. While colonial-era anti-gay laws remain on the books, gay men and women (mostly men) are beginning to emerge from the taboo-filled shadows. Their place in the light, however, remains capricious. Take, for example, a shake-down that went down this weekend. Six people were detained after coppers picked up the scent of a gay-filled fiesta.

24-year old Sahil Bhoricha and his friends rented a bungalow in the Yeoor Hills and planned to have a party. In an effort to boost attendance, Bhoricha and company sent out text messages, emails and placed an advert on the internet. Cops caught wind of the event and formulated an elaborate plan to close down the queer event.

Based on information from nearby residents, the police swung into action by inspecting vehicles at a checkpost on the road leading to Yeoor. A person transporting a music system to the venue was intercepted. Subsequently, he led them to the place where Sahil and four others were present.

According to API Madhukar Kumbhar, Sahil claimed it was his birthday party and that he had invited his friends over. The bungalow had been hired for Rs 6,000. “We found that it was not his birthday and neither was he able to give a satisfactory explanation for organising the party,” said Kumbhar.

A search revealed that the group had stocked up on snacks, cold drinks and condoms; the liquor was found hidden outside the house in a nearby bush. All six persons, including a watchman, were taken into custody, but subsequently released. Police had sought to book and arrest the group for possession of liquor without a permit, but a magistrate denied them custody.

Gay activist Ashok Row Kavi questioned the coppers’ reasoning:

There’s something objectionable in the way the police—instead of going after terrorists and thieves—are going after innocent people. What’s the big deal? These boys were all adults and were taking a crate of beer to a party in a private place. It’s unfair that you barge in. Besides, carrying condoms isn’t a sin.

Apparently authorities didn’t agree – not initially, at least. Perhaps the magistrate’s decision will send a message to police: fight actual crime, not things which should no longer be considering as such…

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  • M Shane Walsh

    I just finished watching the Arundati Roy films, “Come September”, and “Instant Mix, Imperial Democracy”, really impressive, articulate author. She talks poetically about a number of pertinant world events, one of which is that India, perhaps because it is in colusion with American capitalism, we know little about.
    Apparently, they operate one of the most outrageous fascist govenment in existence today. They slaughter hundreds of moslems and people who object to the tyranny they impose. The persecution and decimation of gay people is nothing new, just hidden from us.
    Just think how much America contributes to this tyranny.

  • John

    There’s a religious conflict in India between the majority Hindus and minority Muslims. But no matter who wins, the gays will lose. Do you honestly think if Muslims had their way (autonomy), the situation would improve for gays Indians?

    Instead of being threatened with jail time under an archaic and unenforced colonial law, you’d have local Sharia courts handing out death sentences. I’d hardly call that ‘progress.’

  • HMMPP...

    Arundhati Roy is a piece of shit. She is an extremist leftist writer whose primary objective is to demonize the state (and somehow she keeps winning awards in India & abroad). She blames the terrorist attack on Indian parliament (on Dec 13, 2001) on the Indian Gov. itself (just like 9/11 is often blamed on the CIA)..

    Come to India and see with your eyes wide open, we are not ruled by fascists. Why else would you oft find Muslim presidents, judges, actors, scientists etc. living in a country governed by secular laws? The Economist gives our democracy a score of 7.68/10 (35th best, just one notch behind Italy). Why else would the USA so terribly want a nuclear deal with us??

    Although, India is the only democracy in top 35 to still retain sodomy laws which have not yet been repealed (although, nowadays used as CSA laws); A civil suit to read down that law from consensual sex b/w adults is still being heard at the Delhi High Court

    Take care.

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