The ‘sanskari’ queer pride parades of India

As calls for queer rights enter the Indian heartland, some pride parades are toning themselves down for wider acceptance.

Anil Ukarande was raised by his mama-mami (his mother’s brother and sister-in-law) in Pune. A few years ago, when he told them he was a homosexual, his mama took him to a local vaidya, or an Ayurvedic medicine practitioner. The man checked Ukarande’s pulse and said that he must have suffered trauma from a woman at some point in life. He prescribed a course of dried dates soaked in ghee for a month.

Ukarande was livid. He went through the “treatment”, if only to pacify his guardians. It made no difference (of course it didn’t). But it helped convince his …


Omkar Khandekar

Omkar specializes in long-form narrative features and has reported from India, the UK, Germany and the Maldives. He writes across beats, from politics and crime to cinema and sports. His works have been published in Indian and international outlets including The Caravan, Mint Lounge, the BBC, Al Jazeera and The Huffington Post.

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