Tag Archives: Delhi

Don’t Forget AFSPA

28 Mar

AFSPAIn the run-up to the coming elections, there is an urgent need to create a political pressure for repeal of AFSPA. While political parties are focussing on secularism, democracy and development, they have completely ignored the long-standing demand of the people of Kashmir and North-East India to repeal AFSPA.  A march is being organised on 30th March, jointly by various organisations, activists and individuals  to bring the pressing demand to repeal AFSPA into the political theater before the elections. Join in to show your solidarity and support. 

When: Sunday 30th March, 1 pm onwards

Where: from Mandi House metro station to Jantar Mantar. 

All organisations can extend their support through participation in this march. Details will be updated from time to time at http://www.repealafspa.blogspot.in/


Jointly Organised By: Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign, AIPWA, AISA, RYA, Voices Against 377, DSF, NAPM, Right Water Campaign & other like minded organisations

Contact info: savesharmila@gmail.com

What is AFSPA?

AFSPA or Armed Forces Special Powers Act, passed in 1958, rules all the north east states(except Sikkim) and Jammu and Kashmir. It was imposed to check insurgency. AFSPA allows shooting the “suspects” and provides legal immunity to the army men. Because of this, in the name of protecting law and order, AFSPA has led to extra judicial killingsfake encountersillegal detentionstorture and rapes. The law was enforced in Manipur in 1980 and was supposed to last six months but it continues to destroy it till today.

(Taken from http://www.repealafspa.blogspot.in/)

Why is AFSPA a queer feminist issue?

At the most basic level, it is an issue of human and democratic rights being grossly violated. You can read more about the violations under AFSPA here: http://repealafspa.blogspot.in/p/everyday-stories-of-torture.html

When the Supreme Court’s judgement upholding section 377  said that it only affects a ‘minuscule minority’ of Indians, many of us were rightly furious. A set of people can’t be treated badly because there are only a few of them. The government, constitution and state are all supposed to ensure that everyone in the country is treated equally and has equal access to their rights. In this case, several states are being systematically denied their rights and oppressed by violence, with no recourse to the law, and because of their minority/marginalised status, they cannot do anything about it. As queer people, we should stand in solidarity with them, because this is the same battle we are fighting, on another front. 

Violence under AFSPA is highly gendered: illegal kidnapping, rape, torture and murder all disproportionately affect women more. There are no substantiated studies about violence against trans* people under AFSPA but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist: trans* people are even less able to seek redressal against sexual or gendered violence than cis-gendered women. As queer women and genderqueer or trans* people, we should stand in solidarity against this violence.

 India supposedly prides itself on its diversity. At the same time, people who are different — who look different, who eat different food, who wear different clothes, who have sex differently, who believe or don’t believe in different faiths, who want different lives, — are constantly under pressure to conform. In a diverse country, wanting everyone to conform to one faith or ideology is as stupid as wanting them to speak only one language or follow only one sexuality. To do this via violence and oppression is even worse. So, as queer feminists, to ensure our own place in the diversity of possibilities, we have to stand in solidarity with others who are also trying to carve out their own spaces.

SC Verdict meetings and protests

13 Dec

COMMUNITY MEETING AND DISCUSSION
Max Mueller Bhavan, 6:30pm, Saturday, December 14th.

Gather to understand the judgment, talk, share, vent, come together.
This event is not open to the media — it’s a space for the community (of all genders and sexualities) to come together, discuss, think through what’s going on and where to go from here. Informal and unstructured, but we’ll have a few legal experts start by breaking down the judgment.

Spread the word! The event will be in English and Hindi with translation both ways.

Metro: Patel Chowk/Rajiv Chowk.

– Voices Against 377
GLOBAL DAY OF RAGE – NO GOING BACK!!
Jantar Mantar, 3 pm, Sunday, December 15th.

On December 11th, 2013, The Supreme Court of India reinstated the Criminality of Homosexuality in India. This Judgment has inspired anger across different sections of society around the world. While the legal battle continues, it is important that we make our voices heard. Loud and Clear.

This Judgment is not about any one community in any one country but about the hegemonic structures that oppress many across the world. It is a blow to the various other LGBTIQ communities across the world who might have …taken strength from the Indian story to challenge laws/social norms/prejudices that criminalise homosexuality in their own countries. It is time we begin to heal this lasting scar of colonialism. It is time we are given the space and freedom to pursue the work of fundamental social change which is made impossible with a law such as Sec. 377 of the Indian Penal Code choking us.

Gather your friends, lovers and anyone else who is enraged by this injustice. Make your voices heard.

Events are happening in many cities across the world! Organise one in yours or join one that is happening!
 
For more details:
Global Day of Rage, Delhi: www.facebook.com/events/168797849996585
Global Day of Rage, World-wide: www.facebook.com/events/168797849996585

Qashti Ki Matargashti- Play and Say

11 Sep

Join us this Saturday for card games, board games, word games AND intense and exciting conversations: we hope to have a range of activities for all to get a chance to hang out, meet old friends and new people and have a bunch of great discussions!

qashti Please feel free to bring snacks and refreshments (non-alcoholic). You’re welcome to bring friends but please keep in mind that this space is only for lesbian, bisexual and trans* persons assigned FEMALE at birth.

Join us on facebook to know the details or call us at 9711282307 for any clarification/direction.

2nd July Celebrations by Delhi Queer Pride Committee

1 Jul
 Click below for more information. Hope to see you all there!
The Delhi Queer Pride Committee
invites you to The 4th Anniversary of the Reading Down of Sec. 377 When: 2nd July, 2013
What time: 6:30 to 8:30pm
Where: Jantar Mantarदिल्ली क़ुईर प्राइड समिति
आपको आमंत्रित करती है

धारा 377 में बदलाव की चौथी वर्षगाँठ पर

कब: 2 जुलाई 2013
किस समय: 6:30 से 8:30 बजे
कहाँ: जंतर मंतर

हम दिल्ली उच्च न्यायालय की धारा 377 में बदलाव लाने वाले ऐतिहासिक फैसले – जिसके तहत सेम-सेक्स सम्बन्ध अपराध के दायरे से हटा दिए गए – की चौथी वर्षगाँठ के अवसर पर एकत्रित होंगें।

सुप्रीम कोर्ट इस मामले पर अपना अंतिम फैसला देने को तैयार है। हम इस ऐतिहासिक दिन को मनाने के लिए एक साथ एकत्रित होंगे। आप सबसे अनुरोध है की इस शाम आप अपनी क़ुईर कवितायेँ, अपनी लघु कहानियाँ, अपने क़ुईर सपने और किस्से हम सबके साथ बांटे।

इस शाम हम भारतीय इतिहास में प्रमुख क़ुईर घटनाओं की एक टाइम-लाइन बनायेंगे और आपसे अनुरोध करेंगे कि आप इसमें अपने क़ुईर जीवन की महत्वपूर्ण घटनाओं को जोड़ें और एक सुन्दर श्रंखला बनाएं।

हम गानों और कैंडल लाइट विजिल से शाम को यह समारोह समाप्त करेंगे।

Announcing the helpline

25 May

Confused about your sexual orientation?

Worried about your gender identity?

Need somebody to talk to?

Need information on queer life?  

PhoneWe are just a call away!

9711282081

9711282307

Qashti is excited to announce its helpline,

starting on June 1st

Wednesdays (from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm) and on Saturdays (from 4:00 om to 6:00 pm)

This Saturday! Breaking the Binary with LABIA

2 May

A few years ago, several of us in Qashti heard about a study being done by LABIA, based on interviews and conversations sharing life histories with LBTGQFAB people from all over India. We’ve been eager and excited to hear about the results of these conversations for ages, and now we finally get to! LABIA will be coming to Delhi this Saturday to share their findings, carry on the discussions and answer all our questions about the study! And the icing on the cake is that we at Qashti are co-hosting the event along with Saheli — we couldn’t be more delighted! So please come, bring friends and families, enjoy some refreshing cool drinks and hear all about Breaking the Binary! Over to LABIA:

scripts/LABIA

BREAKING THE BINARY: Understanding concerns and realities of queer persons assigned gender female at birth across a spectrum of lived gender identities

Saturday 4th May 2013
3:00 to 7:00 pm
at The Attic, 1st Floor, 36 Regal Building, Outer Circle, Connaught Place
(directions: in the same lane as People Tree, Kwality Restaurant etc. Nearest Metro: Rajiv Chowk)

In 2009-2010, LABIA initiated a research study based on 50 life history narratives of queer PAGFB (persons assigned gender female at birth), and aided by discussions with queer LBT and trans* groups. 11 of us (many of us members of LABIA) did the interviews, transcripts and initial analysis, and 4 of us have been doing the further analysis and writing.

Key findings have been presented at different conferences and some of the data has been published. Now we bring you the full report. Through this study, we explore the circumstances and situations of queer PAGFB who are made to, or expected to, fit into society’s norms around gender and sexuality. We look at their experiences with natal families and in school; we chart their journey through intimate relationships and jobs; we attempt to understand what happens to them in public spaces, and how they are treated by various state agencies; we discover where they seek and find support, community, and a refuge from the violence and discrimination that mark far too many lives.

Most significantly, this research has given us new insights into gender itself, which we feel are crucial additions to the current discourse in both queer and feminist spaces. Finally, the study flags areas of particular concern, and highlights some necessary interventions.

We ourselves are amazed at the richness and complexity of our findings and are impelled by the need to share these as widely as possible with all queer and feminist groups and individuals, activists and academics, all people working specifically with LBT persons as well as broadly in the areas of gender and sexuality — and of course all of us who are interested in knowing more about our selves.

So do join us for an intense, engaging, stimulating afternoon of presentations in English and Hindi, with time for questions and discussion (and most certainly for tea and snacks).

Chayanika, Raj, Shalini, Smriti from LABIA – a queer feminist LBT collective

(With Saheli and Qashti LBT)

Matargashti – let’s talk!

23 Apr
qashti trainWith the growing incidents of Gender based Violence in the city and in the country, we’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to walk down the street, use public transportation, be it metros, autos, shared tempos, cycle rickshaws, or buses as an LBT person.

  • Do you find that people stare at you?
  • Do you get physcially/verbally harassed?
  • Do you feel like you need to change the way you dress when you go out to avoid getting attention?
  • Are you comfortable travelling alone?
  • Is it difficult for you to use the metro because you dont know which queue to use (male or female)?
  • Do you feel safe travelling at night?
  • Are you relieved that you dont get male sexual attention because of the way you look?
  • Can you be affectionate towards your partner in public?

We all have experiences to share when it comes to moving about in the public sphere…our experiences are all unique because of our class, caste, gender presentation and sexual orientation.

So this Matargashti we will talk about how we feel in public places as LBT persons. Do come and share your anecdotes, ideas, stories and reflections with everyone on the 28th of April, 2013. The venue and directions will be sent in a private message to all those who confirm. Feel free to bring friends, but keep in mind, this space is meant only for lesbian, bisexual women and trans people assigned female at birth. See you all there!

Excitedly,
The Qashti Team

let’s have a poll!

2 Apr

What would YOU like to see in Qashti ki Matargashtis?

Fill out our poll below, give your ideas in comments, and share with your friends!

Qashti in the News!

18 Mar

The fine folks at Time Out Delhi are the first to cover Qashti in the news! Stay tuned for more articles!

TimeOut article

Fresh off the boat

A volunteer at Qashti reveals more about this new organisation for people assigned female at birth.

“In the morning, when I pass the chhola-kulcha guy, he calls me ‘didi’; in the evening when I come back, he says ‘chhole khane hai, bhaiya?’” This was overheard at one of the “matargashti” meetups run by Qashti, Delhi’s newest LBT (lesbian, bisexual, trans) group.

Qashti describes itself as a “feminist collective for and by lesbian, bisexual, FTM trans and genderqueer people who have been assigned female at birth (LBQTGFAB).” The acronyms and political jargon aside, it’s quite simple: people are usually assigned a gender at birth, (“it’s a girl!”) but that doesn’t always match up to the gender that they actually feel they are. At Qashti, anyone who was assumed to be female at birth is welcome, no matter what gender – male, trans, female, butch, genderqueer, femme, androgynous, other, none – they are now. Not coincidentally, there are easier ways of talking about the gender options for people who were assigned male at birth: they might be hijras, kothis, queens, drag queens, as well as being transgender or genderqueer – and there are quite a few groups and spaces that recognise these. It’s much harder to find spaces that are aware of and openly welcoming of the gender options starting on the female end of the spectrum, so Qashti is hoping to remedy that a bit.

In spite of the seriousness with which they take the gender politics, Qashti’s matargashtis are informal, easygoing affairs, something like a support group crossed with a board game house party. Discussion veers easily from which pronouns people want to use for themselves to a recipe for cake, mishti doi, dhokla; to someone’s memory of being caught kissing a girl in the school loo (“we both said ‘sorry ma’am’, I don’t know why!”) to the rules of Uno, all accompanied with chai and chatter. There is no set meeting space; the events so far have been at private houses, public parks, and borrowed organisational spaces. There is no charge for anything, but people are encouraged to bring snacks or, since the collective is non-funded, give donations.

The matargashti meetups are fun and badly needed, but people often also have serious troubles that they don’t want to talk about openly in front of a group. So over the course of the year, Qashti also plans to start a helpline for LBQTGFAB people and  their issues. It will run for two days a week, and will be staffed by volunteers trained in feminist principles and counselling techniques. As well as providing counselling, they will act as a resource centre, giving references to services that people might need, like queer-friendly doctors, lawyers, psychologists, other support groups, meeting spaces and so on.

The helpline will start in June 2013, and will involve outreach to as many different types of people and organisations as possible, across classes. In addition to LBT organizations, Qashti plans to reach out to women’s groups, NGOs working in bastis, and to a wider audience via print media, pamphlets and stickers in public places with contact information. There is such a need for support and resources for LBQTGFAB that it is very hard to rein in the wish to do everything, and just try to do a few things well. Ideally, there would be many more such spaces, helplines, shelters and resource guides!

Correction

Qashti ki Matargashti is next on Sunday, March 31st. The date has been changed from the 24th because too many people are out of town for the holidays around Holi and Good Friday.