Karva Chauth Wars: Kolkata lesbian couple harassed by LGBT advocates

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29 Responses

  1. Ahana Banerjie says:

    “I see a lot of animosity and aggravation that had been meted out to these unfortunate couple after all they had done for the community in the city. And what could be termed as more grotesque is the fact that people who are complaining about this are the same comrade with whom the struggle for Right to Equality is being fought. To my belief, I don’t think that we should consider any ceremony to be heterosexual or homosexual. Rituals cannot be divided into such sexuality based categories. It is an individual’s choice the way he/she choose to perceive a certain tradition and being a couple doesn’t mean that one of them should be termed as a ‘husband’ or a ‘wife’.”

  2. Ruth Vanita says:

    It is unfortunate that some LGBT people are displaying such religious and cultural intolerance. Rituals like Karva Chauth are transformed when performed in entirely different contexts. There is nothing uniquely “heterosexual” or “homosexual.” Ceremonies are what we make of them.

    • priyanka mitra-hahn says:

      So true. Also if these ceremonies are meaningful to LGBT people and contribute to their wellbeing and happiness they should be embraced. Not all of us want to live on the fringe all the time.

      Some of us want conventional rights and rituals, and I don’t understand why that should spark animosity

  3. harish iyer says:

    I believe that homosexual relations need not be like heterosexual relations, for it will lead to duplication of a bad example that heterosexuals set in most cases. I feel homosexual relatons need to be like homosexual relations.

    But having said that, I’d like to add that the “activists” are behaving exactly like how the breeders do – not respecting the choice to practice of another to follow a certain custom.

    I feel the activists are either bored, or may be just jealous.

    Sonali, babes you should party! Do what you * heart*. Love the way you want. Express it your way. Keep a mirror handy.And if activists object, simply show them the mirror.

  4. Em says:

    It isn’t imp if I am gay/straight.but I do believe firmly that it is Not a crime against mankind, God or religion..to pray/fast for the one you live.infact such actions of caring love & rituals of loyalty are what bind societies.are they not? Further, it is the essence of your partner that one loves,not the fact that they are male/female. For eg.if ones partner loses their genitalia in an accident, would the rituals followed before such an accident be irrelevant? Here comes the question..what then is this gender which people are so obsessed about? What do such so called cultured people call love?moreover have they ever taken a day to pray/fast for the one true love of their lives?

  5. Saswato Majumdar says:

    This is utterly idiotic! What a person does in their private lives is entirely their business. And it should never be confused with their public persona. What’s wrong with enjoying a festival! Besides, since heterosexuals follow a certain norm in a particular field, does that imply a homosexual should never perform in a similar manner. In my opinion, it is a passive aggressive manner of propagation of Heteronormativity and will end up in socially alienating the LGBT from the rest of the masses. This is just taking a harmless issue too far. I particularly agree with Harish that these people are just jealous of the couple and their fame. We need to weed out these pseudo activists who try to weaken our bases from within. While everyone is entitled to their opinion, noone is supposed to push it down another’s throat.

  6. sonali says:

    thanks a lot to udayan for giving support. i am feeling better after a long time by all of your viewpoints and support. thanks to all from me and alka.

    • arnav batala says:

      i wanna say thanks to alka and sonali to be there out and proud.

      I love them (to be honest) mostly b’coz they r visible as i hardly see anybody else.

      Your youtube channel is my fav (even though i cudn’t get a few bengali vdeos).

      and as far as following traditional rituals are concerned, even though as a gay man in future (if i get lucky) i wont follow so called hetrosexual patent rituals” but i dunn see any point in abusing the ones who do.More over i see karwa chauth as our desi valentines n u gals luked amazingly ,beautiful n celebrating your love and more love n Now even i m jealous so if someone gets intimidated n acts like a morron let it be…………. Jas dunn let some jerk to distract u from wat beautiful u two cherish

      Love u girls n stay blessed

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm.. For a Community That Is Looking For Equality And Respect AND TRYING TO CURB HOMOPHOBIA (If Not Homophobics)

    They Sure Has A Bunch Of “HETROPHOBICS” AMONG THEM ;-)

    I Think What The Couple Did, Was Not Only Brave but (Pardon My French) KICK-ASS GOOD TOO.. Kudos to Them.

    If The Community Cannot Show Unity And Respect Within Themselves How Do They Expect It From Others? Pray Tell Me?

  8. Pixie Rose says:

    wow…that is definitely bigotry…I mean, srsly, what would we be without our straight supporters? The people who are our friends and family, who accept us for who we are, not who we are attracted to…this, this is not the way to seek equality…this is just another divisive measure to tear us all apart…the more separation-ism that we encourage, the further from equality we become…we should celebrate people that have the courage to take a traditionally hetero custom and tailor it for their own uses. Redefining ‘normal’, blurring the boundaries between a man’s and a woman’s traditional roles, these are what brings about equality. This is not just a struggle between hetero and homo, this is a struggle to change the way people see each other and their places in society. Change that and you change the world…

  9. Ian says:

    Alka and Sonali, keep doing what you’re doing! Celebrate your love in the way that makes sense to you.

  10. Will says:

    Sonali and Alka- u r brave and lucky couple to have each other. There are so many unfortunate lonely people in this world like me who are scared to come out, as we know that there are also people in lgbt community who can express such kind of jealous behaviour and shame and name couple if they express love in a different way. This will definitely make people like me scared to come out.

    But I am writing this message to give my support to both of you and would like to request you to lend your service to cities like Pune where there is a need of lgbt organisation. I truly believe tat a strong loving couple like you can definitely help make a change in the society. If you can change the attitudes of people in your housing society then why not conservative cities?

    lots of love and support!!! cheers folk

  11. Roxi says:

    I find that it is difficult to please everyone. I am ashamed of the people who would take such a joyous event and use it to berate the couple. It is important to remember that social norms are how we define ourselves. Just because something is signified by a hetero couple does not mean that a gay couple can’t celebrate the same way. Light, love, and blessings to the wonderful couple.

  12. Aditya Bondyopadhyay says:

    Well, personally I am against any ritual of any kind for anything. But that opinion is personal and applicable only to me. I feel everyone else is free to do what they want to do to celebrate and cherish their moments and life together, including get married if they want, fast or feast as they want, even get divorced, if they want…its all OK…

    2 things, first, there is a mild femino-fasist streak in Kolkata lesbian politics that somehow they need to introspect about…extreme stands that stem itself in perpetual self-victimhood is not helpful….

    Second, Sonali and Alka should also not fall to this victimhood bogey at this moment either. if someone has abused you, I say you have enough spunk to fight right back…so do it…

  13. Aditya Bondyopadhyay says:

    This is unethical reporting. You do not seem to have even made an effort to either contact or get the viewpoint of the other side….THAT is BAD journalism…AVOIDING that is what distinguishes rag from respectable….for the good of the Pink Pages (I want to see it good) I hope you will take care in the future…

    • Udayan Dhar says:

      My mistake for not making this clear in the report earlier-

      “… neither ‘Sappho for Equality’ nor Suatanaka Bhattacharya responded to Pink Pages’ requests for their comments on the matter.”

  14. Dhrubo says:

    While the comments by Sappho are contentious, your article itself, doesn’t adequately represent the opposing views. While homo normative behaviour might be a problem, it is nowhere close to being as big a problem as a lack of discussion within the LGBT movement.

  15. shuvojit says:

    This is very strange. Be it hetero or homo sexual norms its always a personal decision. No one can abuse or force upon their decision/ viewpoints on other. Really feel bad about Sonali and Alka, they have been one of the most lovable couple i have seen and have really changed many public percerption and misconception wrt LGBT. There can difference of opinions between the community but abuses are unacceptable.

  16. Saptarshi says:

    “In other words they have probably achieved more than what the “activists” have achieved in the past two decades.”

    Only someone with no sense of history and contemporary politics could have written this statement. But then one doesnt expect anything different from Pink pages.

    “Ceremonies are what we make them”? Yeah right. Ruth Vanita would also probably make us believe that rituals like kanyadan in Hindu marriages and its equivalents in other religions is nothing but parental love. And so is dowry, no? Thats also voluntarily given, often without any explicit demands. So yeah.. why make such fuss abt these rituals anyway? We’ll just take them and..like, transform them. OMG!

  17. Rashmi says:

    First and last, personal attacks are NOT alright, under any circumstances! Shame on those who aren’t able to make their point without using anger, foul language and threats.

    Personally, I wouldn’t perpetuate or condone patriarchal, heterosexist and oppressive traditions and rituals. However, I defend the right of people to do what suits them (barring actions that hurt or are done to hurt others).

    It is a one-sided opinion piece. The writer doesn’t necessarily need quotes from the “opposition” to show the two sides. All he had to do was present available information…not such a difficult thing to do considering there’s a whole internet-full of it out there. The writer’s bias and well-meaning friendship actually left me wishing I had just talked with Sonali directly instead of reading a smear campaign…in the reverse. Turns out that while defending his friends the writer allowed his feelings to get the better of him and engaged in the exact same behavior he accuses these activists, not “activists”, of displaying.

    Sonali and Alka are brave and outspoken. I hope they will take the good from the suggestions, advice, criticsm and leave the bad behind and continue to do their commendable work.

  18. Kamini Mukherji says:

    I know I’m getting into this ‘debate’ a bit late but,…..

    in my opinion,the couple chose this ritual to express their love for each other & FOR NO OTHER REASON.

    Personally,I don’t ‘like’ this ritual (of Karwa Chauth) as it is a typical MCP 1 i.e., the woman starves for an entire day to pray for her man’s longer life while the guy can go about stuffing himself. :-P

    What I don’t understand is,…. why is THIS being made into a “hetero- Vs. homo-” issue.
    :-(

  19. nimisha says:

    no ritual, prayer or act is homosexual or heterosexual. it is just an act. the participants give it the texture of sexual involvement. when talking of rituals, it hardly matters because they are only symbolic of a position which is assumed as to be wife, daughter, husband or son or anything and hence, the rituals can be practiced accordingly. there might be some couple who alternates roles and lives both as husband and wife some time, and at karwa chauth they both interchanger roles one after the other or simultaneously. so what??? its an expression of love and nothing wrong

  20. Anya says:

    This is complete rot. And precisely the reason why it has taken India and the people so long to accept LGBT rights and treat us as equals. There isn’t a difference. We are human too. Our sexual orientation and preferences have nothing to do with the practices we follow. Especially, in an age where inter-religious couples celebrate festivals for different religions together. There’s no heterosexual and homosexual festival and ritual rubbish. Seriously, i’m going to liken that to goat sacrificing. Because by the theory of these “activists” Every person who is a butcher by profession automatically turns into a crazy goat sacrificing nutjob because he kills goats!

  21. Shayon says:

    this is extremely biased reporting from the author of this piece. He has displayed a total disregard for good practice. Like another commentator has said he did not need a quote to bolster the opposite argument but present the facts which he did not and he was pretty wrong. I personally found the article distasteful and full of errors which I would not have expected from a magazine that purports to be national in its outreach.

    Knowing alka and sonali personally I am also aware of their deep rooted problem with sappho which culminated in this exchange. The said person in Sappho mentioned here on the other hand initiated a discussion on a picture that was freely available anyway. Maybe ms sonali and ms alka need to learn to engage in a meaningful discussion rather than just storming off or using expletives to shout up (down) their case.

  22. sam says:

    Alka and Sonali, You guyz rock, just dont care about what people has to say, Live your life your way…talking about using abusing language…take it as a positive sign…it means people are watching you and they are getting jealous of you gals. So keep going and live a happy life…With lots of Good Luck…Sam

  23. Jyoti Das says:

    This is bullcrap. Rituals are not meant for heterosexual and/or homosexuals. Ritual is something what we make of it, it’s something that gives our heart a satisfaction. I strongly believe that those who are opposing them should be educated. Our country doesn’t even recognizze gays and lesbians, so in that case, it is we who should be supportive of each other.

  24. Ann says:

    Well I do go with the ”Sappho group” here, What has been said there wasn’t a slur. Ironically I believe if we still practice those traditions that remind us of our patriarch, touching the feet is not an issue. But if someone who is iconic and a social figure.. and they act flamboyant to the people.. What it is called then?? May be creating much ado about nothing is just something so garbled, but I don’t think just blaming the LGBT group would solve any problems here. I myself witnessed those comments on Sappho group here it seems like one biased presentation of what actually happened..

  25. meghna says:

    Alka and sonali u guyzzzz rock my best wishesh wth u, well i do go wth the” Sappho group”

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