In a first for India, advocacy groups erected giant billboards promoting LGBTI acceptance in the capital, Delhi, last month.
Local rights group Jhatkaa and equality campaigners All Out organized the advertisements above a metro station in in Delhi’s Connaught Place.
Illustrations by LGBTI artist Salaka Pai shows a mother proudly watching her son and his boyfriend cook.
‘My family respects me irrespective of who I love’ the billboard says.
‘The main objective of this campaign is to push the conversation about LGBT rights towards social acceptance and the normalisation of queerness’ Jyotsna Sara George, campaign manager at Jhatkaa.org, told News Laundry.
It happened! #India’s first #LGBT+ billboard in history is now up in the #NewDelhi‘s busiest spot! For the whole month, thousands of passersby will engage with messages of love and acceptance of LGBT+ people. pic.twitter.com/xSjd5kqC84
— All Out (@AllOut) January 7, 2019
But, some worry censorship by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s (DMRC) has blurred the board’s intended message.
Jhatkaa had originally commissioned an illustration of a lesbian couple sitting on a bench in front of the Delhi High Court.
Text below the image said ‘being gay is not a crime’.
It was a very obvious celebration of The Supreme Court’s decision to decriminalize gay sex in September last year.
But, DMRC did not approve of the image. Jhatkaa therefore substituted the current advertisement instead.
One local resident told News Laundry they thought the billboard depicted a mother and her two sons.
George at Jhatkaa said the Delhi billboard was a pilot project and they hoped to unveil more advertisements in smaller Indian cities.
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Author: Rik Glauert