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Ally March — Colours of Love

Article 19, School of Communication’s (SoC) media-fest body organised an ally march on 16th October 2018. The decriminalisation of section 377 was well-received by the student community of Manipal as was proven by the large crowd gathered at the event. Many of the students present at the march were of the opinion that there was room for better participation, had it not been for the heavy rains that afternoon.

The participants came from almost every college present in Manipal. The march commenced at the Manipal EDU building and wrapped up in front of the School of Communication. Though it was over 2 kilometers, no one seemed to be tired at the end of the march. The crowd roared the entire time, except while being respectfully behaved for a short stretch near the KMC hospital.

The response by the participants was enthralling as they donned bright and beautiful colours of the rainbow while being very vocal and expressive about their support for the LGBTQ community. The various slogans that the students called out with great amounts of zeal, filled the atmosphere with an electric energy that could not be described. Students had painted their faces with the colours of the rainbow, wore rainbow clothing and some carried various props and posters in support of the community.

It was refreshing to see not only the younger generation take part in this event, but also some members of the older generation who participated with full vigour. Debosmita, a student of SoC who attended an ally march for the first time, said that the environment felt very liberating and being a part of such an event felt very fulfilling. The march was peacefully conducted and unlike many other cases, the large crowd here was well organized. In the end, Mrs. Sana Shree an LGBTQ rights activist and a trans woman said that she was surprised to see such enthusiasm from college students about LGBTQ rights.

At a time when even the Supreme Court has decriminalised discriminatory laws like Section 377, it still remains a taboo in many parts of India and is even considered “unnatural”. In spite of this, it was encouraging to see the students come out in support of the LGBTQ community, paving the road to a brighter future.