September 6 will always be remembered as the day that gave India the freedom to love equally. After 158 years of suffering, discrimination, humiliation and anonymity, the LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex) now can feel free. The Supreme Court of India announced its historic verdict decriminalising homosexuality by scrapping Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. It’s not only a victory for the LGBTQI community but all those who strive for a more equal and inclusive world.
Many are celebrating this historic judgement. Several restaurants have come up with rainbow dishes and drinks. Brands and TV channels too have showed their solidarity by putting the rainbow on their logo and so on. We talk to a few them.
A RAINBOW TREAT
The Quick Wok, Pune, has created Rainbow Wok Combo. Shashank Yadav, director, The Quick Wok, says that the idea of bringing together people of different caste, creed, gender and orientations is a sign of a healthy and prospering society. “We believe in equality so we chose to celebrate this historic verdict by the Supreme Court for the LGBTQI community by introducing the Rainbow Wok Combo,” says Yadav. The combo, which is a combination of Green Thai Curry, Flat Noodles, Khow Suey, along with beverages, has been specially prepared for this initiative.
The idea of introducing the dish is to help people have greater acceptance for the LGBTQI community. “It feels great to play a part in this change. Sharing is caring and Wok Box is a great example of that, where the love of food brings people together. If we can choose what to eat, we can choose whom to love. ‘The state has no business to intrude into these personal matters’ as rightly pointed out by Justice DY Chandrachud,” adds Yadav.
Viman Nagar Social has also introduced a limited edition of Pride LLIIT (Longest Long Island Iced Tea) to celebrate the victory because the restaurant believes that pride is not only a protest, but a celebration. Jones Elish, mixologist and head beverage manager, Viman Nagar Social, says that while one sips on Pride LLIIT, they come together to celebrate the oneness of the community. “We wanted to show our support and celebrate the repealing of Section 377 with not just the LGBTQI community but with our patrons across India. The rainbow flag being the mnemonic of the community’s pride, our Pride LLIIT represents just that,” says Elish.
While explaining the drink, he says, “Think of an ice slush in a 500ml LLIIT beaker — an entirely ice-based drink topped with a mix of vodka, white rum, tequila and gin along with a sweet and sour mix, orange juice, grenadine syrup and blue curacao. With all the different flavours coming together, you could say it tastes like a rainbow. So let’s raise a toast to justice and celebrate with our Pride LLIIT!”
RAINBOW on logo
A large number of people who booked cabs using Ola and Uber mobile app over the past few days were pleasantly surprised when they saw Ola cabs and Uber routes in rainbow colours on the map. Brands like Swiggy, Nykaa, Loreal, Durex, Flipkart and so on also put rainbow colours on their logo and even came up with creatives in support of the LGBTQI community.
When we spoke to Swiggy, one of the leading online food delivery platforms, asking them about the message that the brand is trying to put across through this initiative, their spokesperson said, “As a young, progressive brand, we believe this will be a great way to show our support for the decision of the Supreme Court, especially when Facebook introduced pride themes for profile pictures to show support for the community.”
So will it help transform people’s perception about LGBTQI? “Changing perception requires a lot more collective effort from society. However, every voice counts and assures support for the LGBTQI community. As a brand, we believe in taking a stand for what we believe is right,” adds the spokesperson.
IT’S POURING RAINBOW
While some restaurants in Pune had limited offers on food and drinks, several places across India are still celebrating the freedom of love like Bombay Coffee House in Bandra, Fort and Kurla in Mumbai. “The annulment of Section 377 gave us a huge reason to be proud and celebrate, so we, at Bombay Coffee House, decided to introduce Love Conquers All Combo,” says Deepkaran Kohli, founder, Bombay Coffee House.
Vietnamese Iced Coffee, a Red Velvet Cake and a Croissandwich (veg/ non-veg) come as a part of the Love Conquers All Combo at Rs 377 (plus taxes) at Bombay Coffee House till September 13 from 8 am-12.30 am.
MAKING the WORKPLACE a MORE INCLUSIVE ONE
More and more brands and workplaces are now embracing and creating work opportunities for people irrespective of their sexual orientation. Amit Pandya, an openly gay person, has been working as a jewellery stylist at C Krishniah Chetty (CKC) Jewellery in Bengaluru for more than a decade now. “We are proud to be a non-political, equal opportunity, unbiased, forward-thinking employer. None of the five fingers are the same, hence black, white, tall, short, man, woman, LGBT, caste, Indian, or foreigner, should ever be a criterion for judging who is what. If you are a human, you deserve reward, recognition, help for your efforts irrespective of your sexual orientation. And that shapes CKC Jewellery to this day. We did not discriminate Amit Pandya, our jewellery stylist, from the day he joined. We, gave him a free hand to excel in his work,” says Dr C Vinod Hayagriv, MD and director CKC Group of Jewellers.
Siddharth U, founding partner and chief strategy officer OurHealthMate — an electronic health record startup, says, “Like the rainbow colour, a gender diverse workforce always brings in new ideas and energy in the office space. It also enhances innovation and creativity. OurHealthMate is an equal opportunity employer. We believe that an inclusive workforce can drive innovation and foster growth. Our employee policies are made in such a way that it encourages employees to be their true self without the fear of being discriminated. The repealing of Section 377 means more inclusiveness, freedom and togetherness in society. And, that is what OurHealthMate is striving to bring in the corporate realm.”
Here are some of the brands that showed support LGBTQI on their social media accounts:
Free love is always 6E! Every cloud has it’s rainbow #loveislove
Here’s to celebrating the cancelled order that has delivered dignity, equality, individualism and freedom. #Section377 #LoveIsLove #NayeIndiaKeSaath
This one’s for #PrideIndia! #LoveWins #Section377 #LoveIsLove #ChunoApneRang
Flipkart celebrated the victory in a light way by punning on the word, ‘order 377’ and ‘cancellation.’
Star TV Network
The TV network of India called it #NayiSoch while turning its logo rainbow and captioned it ‘Towards an inclusive world! #NayiSoch #Imaginemore’
India just witnessed a sweet victory for love! #Section377