Proposed Kashmir Youth Movement march triggered online debate

LGBT community

Srinagar, (Samajweekly) A proposed march in support of LGBT community in Srinagar by Kashmir Youth Movement (KYM), a group comprising migrant Kashmiri Pandits, has triggered a fierce debate between the proponents and opponents of the idea on social media.

The group which promotes the interests of LGBT community is based in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and J&K.

The group had planned to hold the march at Lal Chowk in June but due to the coronavirus pandemic the event has been postponed.

The idea, however, has generated a heated debate on social media between the proponents and the opponents of the idea with both sides trying to aggressively push their stand.

“Khair Mubarak’, we welcome you with open arms!” one social media user supporting the move commented. “More power to you! You have a long way to go! This is just the beginning.

“I love the support you show us every day! Thank you for coming to the peace march; we will definitely have a pride march in Kashmir,”

The opponents of the move have been equally vocal.

“If your idea of freedom is in the clutches of oppression of another, we reject that freedom,” commented one of them. “Homophobic, this ‘lanat’ (slur) must not come to Kashmir.”

“They are highly brain washed.”

Founder KYM Rahul Vakil, an MBA student, said that Homophobia is a deep rooted problem in Kashmir and it needs to be tackled.

“We are getting bouquets and brickbats from both the sides,” Vakil said .”It’s not just the people in Kashmir but responses are coming in from all parts of the country.”

He said marches have been taken out in support of LGBT rights in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru but strangely people shy away from giving support to the community in Kashmir.

“They have different standards for Kashmir and for the rest of the country,” he said.

He said they are in touch with the LGBT community in Kashmir and trying to convince them to support KYM initiative.

“In Kashmir those linked to us do not want to come out, we are trying to convince them to put out their messages,” he said.