India’s Most Influential Gays and Lesbians: ASHOK ROW KAVI
The father of the Indian Gay rights’ movement has been the face of the country’s gay community for over two decades. The impact of his work- from starting Humsafar Trust to organizing the first Pride parade cannot be overemphasized.
What has been the biggest motivating factor for you in all these years of struggle for gay rights?
The biggest motivating factor all these years has been the amazing fact that if you insist on having your way and it is fair and just, most probably you will have it – your way!
What has left you most disappointed?
What has left me most disappointed is the nastiness and malafide intentions of some of our own community members. If I find someone has purposefully hurt me, I usually pretend that the person doesn’t exist but sometimes, one is forced to hit back because they do not allow you to live your life peacefully and then you have to stand up and fight. That’s what hurts; human beings are cruel and callous to their own kind
Where do you see the Indian LGBT movement heading?
Presently we are caught between mindless radicalism on one hand and a kind of creeping corporatization on the other. It’s a dangerous bend in the river and we need to be careful.
What’s next for you?
I am presently serious about continuing my journalism career; to write and review events as I see them. There is a lot of deeply partisan stuff out there that bends the truth subtly and one needs to see the agendas in every word. I would love to maintain that fairness and objectivity that I have always been known for.
Your advice to young gays and lesbians in our country?
Well, live life to the fullest. Have a lot of fun but don’t forget there is community work to be done that a lot of us activists have given their sweat and blood for. Keep up the good fight and don’t ever rest till you’ve seen through the humbug and got at the truth.