In 2012, India was voted as the ‘worst place to be a woman’. Feminism, even today, is ‘men hating’. And Queer is just ‘men wearing pink’. India recognized the third gender and it was one of the biggest steps towards a progressive society but even today we don’t really know the meaning of queer or understand the LGBTQIA. The violence against homosexuals is increasing, so is the violence against women. Seems like the patriarchy of this country is never going to end.
In such an atmosphere, UN has declared a list of global goals on which ‘gender equality’ is on rank 5. But what can we do? Two second year students of Jamia Millia Islamia, Shaifila (B.A. Psychology) and Hardik (B.A. Economics), have started a gender forum in their college. Yalgaar- The call for equality, is a first of its kind forum in Jamia. While many people would like to believe that Jamia Millia is a university that is still very conservative, this forum shuns that belief. There first meeting happened on 17th of October and had 20 people. It has been only a few weeks and yet they have around 30 members already.
”People need to be more open minded. This isn’t a cause for which only the oppressed need to raise a voice, this is for the humanity as a whole. In 2015, if we don’t respect woman, if we don’t want to accept the difference between gender and sex, if we aren’t comfortable considering homosexuals ‘normal’, how can our country progress? Jamia is not the only university that needs it, let’s not make this a communal issue. Each college and school must have a forum which allows people to be themselves!” said Shaifila, one of the founding members of Yalgaar.
You don’t have to be a woman to care about women empowerment and you don’t have to be queer or homosexual for demanding basic Human Rights for them. This is about the community of India. This is the first step for bringing out the change. Can India leave its patriarchal past and progress? If clubs like Yalgaar are accepted and understood, then definitely yes.
We wish for a day where we won’t bee needing to bring issues like these to attention. Where each and everyone of us regardless of our statuses are treated equally. Only from that day onwards we can actually progress. ‘Yalgaar’ is one small step towards the revolution.