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Karva Chauth Wars: Kolkata lesbian couple harassed by LGBT advocate

in INDIA, 07/12/2012

Alka Kedwal and Sonali Roy- a prominent lesbian couple from Kolkata- who have campaigned vociferously for LGBT equality on several public forums like magazines and television- suddenly find themselves in an unenviable position today. Over the last few days they have faced relentless personal abuse for posting a picture celebrating the Hindu festival of Karva Chauth- traditionally marked by heterosexuial couples. And the surprising part is this- the harassment and criticism has come not from straight people- but from LGBT activists in the city!

Upon posting the Karva Chauth pictures on Facebook, an older picture of theirs was shared on a group called “Sappho for Equality” by group member Suatanaka Bhattacharya- an “activist”- with critical comments about a lesbian couple following “heterosexual norms”. This was followed by a barrage of personal attacks against Sonali and Alka by self appointed guardians of the LGBT community.

The comments said they were “disgusted and horrified” by the acts of the couple, asked who is the “husband” and who is the “wife”, criticized them for “flamboyantly” embracing heterosexual “rituals”, labelled the act as “exhibitionism”, among many other similar statements.

According to Sonali, “The kind of abusive language that has been used against me- I can not even repeat. It’s OK to voice your personal opinions on issues of importance- but it can not bring down the debate to the level of personal abuse and harassment.”

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