The Community Unites – India's Stonewall?

Published: February 24, 2011

I had just returned back from my alma- mater after my convocation when I turned my laptop on and saw the link of TV9’s video posted in one of the Facebook groups. A slow net connection only meant that I couldn’t view the video. Tired from the journey and still excited about the newly awarded degree, I posted my comments below the shared video and went to sleep. Till then, only a few comments had been posted beneath it. By the time I woke up the next morning (which was a bit late) there were various posts related to that topic, each with more than 50 comments or so. The Youtube video had been flagged by so many people that it had been removed by then, and the TV channel had been sent a legal notice by one of the support groups. All this, within less than 24 hours!

And no, it wasn’t just the Facebook group that saw some activity. The discussion had been taking place in all the forums that I knew… some that had been lying dormant for ages!! TV9, in the name of journalism (sensational journalism to be exact) tried to “expose” the gay subculture of Hyderabad city by doing a sting operation. In a TV report, each and every spoken word of which stinks of deep homophobia, the news channel “went undercover” and shot with hidden cameras the various parties being organized for members of the LGBT community in the city. It then showed on TV the profiles of various members of a popular dating site and its journalists even posed as users of the site and called up a few other unsuspecting users, asking them intimate questions, recording them, and then beaming them on Television, along with their names and other information. How can attending parties and having a profile in one of the dating sites be unlawful and criminal, especially after the 2nd July 2009 verdict of Delhi High Court decriminalizing homosexuality in India, is something only  TV9 can explain.

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