Imphal: The British Deputy High Commission Kolkata on Friday joined the commemoration of the fourth anniversary of the Section 377 judgement with LGBTQ community in Manipur’s capital Imphal in partnership with Ya_All under the theme ‘Stronger Together’.
The landmark judgment by Supreme Court on September 6, 2018 had struck down the draconian Article 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalised gay sex and to decriminalise adult consensual same-sex marriages.
Year 2022 also marks the UK’s 50th anniversary of Pride and recognition of LGBT+ rights as fundamental human rights.
According to the British Deputy High Commission Kolkata, the UK is committed to championing these rights internationally and supporting those who defend them in the belief that everyone, everywhere, should be free to love who they love and express themselves without fear of violence or discrimination.
Ya_All which translates to revolution is a youth led non-profit organisation and northeast India’s first registered queer and focused organisation based in Imphal, Manipur. It was founded in 2017 by Sadam Hanjabam.
Nick Low, British Deputy High Commissioner to East & Northeast India who attended the programme in Imphal said: “I am by nature a ‘glass half-full person’. I choose to celebrate the anniversary of India’s repeal of Article 377 rather than lament how much we, as a global community, still need to do to end prejudice and discrimination faced by the LGBTQ+ community around the world. The decision of India’s Supreme Court on 6 September 2018 was, and remains, a beacon of hope and a powerful statement that one of the world’s great democracies loves and values all its sons and daughters equally. I thoroughly enjoyed the deliberations and celebrations organised by our friends at Ya_All in Imphal today.”
Imphal East DC Diana Khumanthem and Uttam Ngangom, Director, Social Welfare, Manipur who were the Guests of Honour also spoke in the programme.
Sadam Hanjabam, President, Ya_All said “Section 377 judgement is the step towards equality, equity and a life with dignity regardless of gender identity. Though small, it will definitely set a stepping stone towards future progression for the LGBTQ community. To live with dignity is a right, it should not depend on who you are or which community you belong to. We hope that this small event we had today will give a ripple effect for people in Manipur and India as a whole.”
Apart from the cultural performance, the event also saw displaying some handicrafts and other arts created by the community for self-reliant.