By Sanjukta Das Bhowmick
Unusual Comaprisons: An ED Original content style, where we take 2 very opposite and different items and show you, exactly how similar they might be.
When we think of Dandi March, we think of a struggle for equality, for some very basic rights and the fight to show the govt. that you are not weak, nor will you bow down and surrender.
Hmmm… what else does this remind me of? Of course, it is the LGBTQ Pride March.
You must be racking your heads seeing such a whacky comparison. I mean both of them seem to be so very different, separated by decades. But there are common threads tying the two. Here’s how-
1. Both are acts of civil disobedience against the government:
The Dandi March organised by our beloved Bapu, to generate salt from the seawater in Dandi after the imposition of the salt tax by the British Raj was formulated as a direct action resistance campaign.
Similarly, the LGBTQ Pride March in recent times is aimed at repealing of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalises sexual act among same-sex partners.
Satyagraha and non-violent resistance goes back a long way in India’s history
Though both have such varied goals, yet both are instances of non-violent protest against the government. Gandhiji called it Satyagraha, or “truthful demand”, as translated by him.
The Pride March too demands the same thing. Why not let people follow their sexual orientation? Why should the government decide who should we spend our lives with.
Isn’t it high time, that we decide for ourselves if we want to conform to the heteronormative standard or follow our hearts?
2. Breakdown of social barriers
In both the marches, there is a complete dissolution of class, race and gender.
It did not matter if the person was a Shudra, or an upper-class Brahmin, or if she was a woman, everyone joined the Father of the Nation, as he marched his way to Dandi to produce salt.
The LGBTQ Pride March too does not discriminate between any. Women, men, people from all profession and any class irrespective of their background are welcome to walk with the rally.
Their motto is “Come all, come many”. As long as you support the cause and think it is your duty as a human being to give them a “life without fear”, you are welcome to join it.
3. Assembling the masses for a shared cause
Both the marches were aimed at mobilising a whole section of people to the current situation and seek a solution. Gandhiji’s Dandi March garnered worldwide attention provided the impetus for the Indian Independence Movement.
The Pride March is doing something similar. With so many people, coming together from all walks of life, it has sure shaken up the nation from its stupor and forced it to acknowledge our fellow brethren.
With the major metro cities organising pride marches, we have indeed come a long way off. This year Delhi organised its 9th Queer Pride Parade. Starting from students to working individuals, to so many more, have joined in.
4. Both the marches were dedicated to creating awareness for the rights of the common people
The Dandi March and the Queer Pride March had as their goal to work for the benefit of the common people.
To go against the government in a peaceful way and get what is its natural right.
Salt production by the Indian people was something regular in pre-independent India before the imposition of salt tax. Gandhiji only demanded what had always been there.
Similarly, The Pride March is claiming back the right to follow the natural desire of human beings.
In an age where sexuality has become such a fluid concept, restricting individuals to follow the societal norms cannot be the case anymore. Sexuality cannot be a construct that someone can be coerced to follow.
Post Scriptum: Last but not the least, I think that Gandhiji would have been proud and happy that his form of non-violent protest has been taken up for such a novel cause. That people are coming together despite everything, forgetting their personal differences, to speak up for their fellow beings.
Marches such as these have been happening since a long time, helping to promote solidarity and create a joint voice of dissent against authority, to claim back what is theirs.
Now whether he would have supported it or not, is a completely different issue. You can debate on it all you like, but given his experiments with sexuality, he may just walk in, to a LGBTQ Pride March, waving the banners.
Image Credits: Google Images
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