An open letter to our Prime Minister

To

Mr. Narendra Modi,

I am DivyaRoop, a citizen of India. I was born in Ranchi, Jharkhand. My parents are not rich people so I don’t have ways to reach you. Hence, I am writing this to you to seek the answers to the questions that haunt me day in and day out.

My parents sent me to the same school as my elder sisters. They fed me the same food as everyone did in my family. I used to be a student whom teachers used to like for performance. However, I was naughty child in my own way. I hardly completed my homeworks. Maybe the reason why teachers used to like me was that I scored good marks in exams when they had no hopes with me.

I was/am creative in my own way. I love photography. I have learnt it as a part of animation course but since I was interested in it, so I decided to work on it. Not just that, in my school, all the school mates used to like me for I genuinely helped them when they needed. I used to take active part in cultural activities and teach other kids dance, organize group singing, etc.

I later got admission in one college in Delhi University. There people admired me. I had been the same person as I was in school. I did fairly well in exams and was/am loved by almost all college mates. I have always been helpful to people who needed me.

Not just that, I do as much as I can to keep my locality clean. When my friends throw the wrappers and bottles around, I ask them to pick it up and throw it in the next dustbin they see. And just so you know, I had been doing this much before your government came in power.

Today, I am working in a BPO. I started working few months back and now shifted to Mumbai from Delhi. According to the laws, I am now a tax paying citizen of my country. I had always waited to start earning and start contributing towards the nation as a tax payer so that I can finally become a responsible citizen of India.

I would also like to inform you that not just my immediate family members but all my extended family members are your fan. My father loves everything you do. He admires you and believes that you are the one who can change this country and lead it to a better direction.

However, I feel unsafe in this country. I do not know how much does the security of one person of your nation would mean to you but I hope that it should matter to you as it’s not just my personal matter but a matter of hundreds and thousands of citizens of our nation.

Today, many people and I are subjected to the threat of getting arrested just for loving someone. If you are wondering what am I talking about, then I would like to tell you that I am gay. I have tried many things to cure it, to hide it and to suppress it. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t happen.

People come and tell me that it can be cured and I didn’t try enough makes me angry because they never have gone through the pain that I have gone through. Their families didn’t leave them at some point of time because of their sexuality. People who tell me that I chose to be gay makes me even more angry because I have suffered for being gay. If it would have been choice, I would have chosen a life as comfortable as theirs. I would have chosen to be straight.

Today, I live under the threat of getting arrested just for living with the guy I love. If someone knows that I am gay and ends up having some grudges against me, can simply walk into a police station and file a complain against me saying, he is gay and has sex with men.

Even though there is no victim, even though no one has suffered, but I am a criminal. I can be prisoned for lifetime. My stance in the society is worse than the men who rape their wives (yes marital rapes do happen).

Am I demanding too much from you if i just want to have a legal acceptance of my union with the guy I love? What will be destroyed if I get the right to marry my love? I am taken aback after knowing India’s take on the voting in UN for right to marry.

It has sent a message that our existence is not worth it for this nation. If it is so then why shall I pay taxes to the nation that does not care for my existence?

Secondly, your government wants us either out of the country or change ourselves, or so as it seems now. The reason why I am forced to believe this is government does not want to pass one small law for equal rights and then the nation stood for homophobia on international platform proving that whether government says anything on the matter in the nation or not, internationally, we will let people know that we are not going to give LGBT community equal rights.

In such a situation, I feel threatened by the very government who is supposed to protect the rights of every citizen of India. In such a situation, I would like to tell you that since your government does not want me or any of us in this country and you don’t want to give us equal rights, then give us all the funds to ensure that we can leave this country and settle down in another country where our rights are granted.

Ensure that we get enough funds to relocate because in the end we still are citizens of this country and you want us to relocate.

I ask you Mr. Prime Minister. If we do not have the right to live with equal rights in this country and you cannot fund our relocation, then what is the option? Marry someone forcefully and ruin their lives?

There is no cure because it is no disease. People keep on arguing without any valid point on their side. So I ask you, being the Prime Minister of India, is it not your responsibility to ensure that all the citizens of India who are living peacefully, without creating any kind of violence, should have the right to live with equal dignity and should have the right to live their lives the way they want? Do they not deserve to have a family of their dream?

What is so wrong that we have done that we have to face so much hate? Just because I do not follow someone’s religion, is that the reason for me to face so much hate? Should religion be the reason for me to not live my life with the person I love? Are we not secular country?

I ask you today, what shall I do if not fight? I am not mentally retarded but I am mentally, emotionally and intellectually sick of people with no qualification, telling me what they think and want me to follow what they say as if I don’t have the right to live my own life and they are my master and I am just a slave to listen to their orders. If I fight back for my rights, I cannot face the truth and if I don’t reply, I have nothing to say because I know I am wrong. This is what I get all the time.

So I ask you, what shall I do? What will you get if we lost this fight? I can assure you one thing, you will gain one thing, increase in numbers of suicides, forced marriages, number of divorce cases, ruined lives of brides getting married forcefully to someone they do not want to or some gay.

And now I ask, what will you lose if you give us our rights? Vote bank of religious fundamentalists? I know if you end up giving your support, the religious groups will create the communal riots but then that’s what they have always done. And I guess, that is what we need to consider, should we live under fear or should we fight back for freedom and equality?

Should the ones who spread hate need mental treatment or the ones who spread love? I have always helped people, did good in my studies and bit of arts and I am also one of the good performers in my office.

I know that my letter to you is worthless but if you really are the Prime Minister who wants to bring a change and wants this nation to have some peace, then please help us to put the fight between the citizens of this nation to an end.

Please let us live with equal rights.

That’s all.

Thank you.

With regards,

Divya Roop.

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13 thoughts on “An open letter to our Prime Minister

  1. Very powerful! I hope many people read it and pause to reflect.
    “If it is so then why shall I pay taxes to the nation that does not care for my existence?”
    This about nailed it!

  2. “However, I feel unsafe in this country. I do not know how much does the security of one person of your nation would mean to you but I hope that it should matter to you as it’s not just my personal matter but a matter of hundreds and thousands of citizens of our nation.”
    Beautifully written. Very powerful.

  3. Amazing article. I really appreciate your efforts. There are very guys like you, who are able to speak their mind.
    Concise, clear and impeccable work.

  4. Don’t know you personally, but from what I read, you’re pretty sorted. Best of luck in life! Hopefully, one day, this country will actually be worth the compliments it likes to give itself all the time. Until then, we keep trying πŸ™‚

  5. You’re a bit delusional, if not well-meaning and righteous . The Prime Minister does not have the power to reinstate the legal status of homosexuality,by himself that is. As you may recall , 377 was repealed at one point ( 2011? I don’t remember exactly), but later that action was repealed due to pressure by religious groups. I feel that when you say ” religious fundamentalists”, you are making a snarky, condescending reference to Hindus (the so-called Brahmanical orthodox majority archetype that the Indian activist breed simply adores conjuring whenever oppression is involved) but if you research it ,you will find out that the groups most active in reviving 377 were Christian and Muslim. Certain Hindu sects did support it, but as Hinduism is not an organized religion , their opinions don’t represent the general feeling of the Hindu population. Even if you vote UPA back into power, they will not repeal 377, as Muslims and Christians are their major backbone(s).The only reason they bring up the bill in LS is to portray BJP/NDA as a backwards,discriminatory party ( though Jaitley and Mohan Bhagwat(RSS) have supported legalizing homosexuality). Your only hope is the Supreme Court ( who I believe has political leanings at certain times as well).
    Which brings me to another point. If you research about it, you’ll find that Hinduism is very much accepting of LGBT. Male gods often adorn female avatars (e.g. Vishnu Mohini), and one of the most popular gods in this country , Lord Ayyappa of Sabarimala, is the son of Vishnu and Shiva, two male gods; no one has a problem with that. Ancient hindu India had no qualms about homosexuality, as proven by passages referring to it in the Kama Sutra. Any averse feelings shown by Hindus to LGBT is purely due to the vestigial colonial sentiments ( from both the Mughal and British dynasties), not by religious doctrine. So as a Hindu, I implore you to not blame my religion for your oppression.
    Another issue I had was the reference to how homosexuality is accepted in other countries. Even in the USA , that is a VERY recent thing. They only got the marriage bill passed in 2015. Even before that, homosexuals and transgenders were ostracized and mocked in most non-urban communities ( i can testify to that, having lived in the US for a decade). Even now, transgenders only feel really safe living in places like NYC ,LA and San Francisco, where the mercurial style of life makes everything and anything digestible to everyone. But the US is over 300 years old. They gained independence in 1772. We gained independence in 1947. For a country that young, and with so much orthodoxy, it is really a miracle that you and other friends can be openly gay, and not be killed/arrested in a legal manner. It is a miracle that the government condones the letter you sent, in a democracy this young. Might I remind you of Alan Turing? He was a British programmer who helped the Allied forces basically win World War II with his coding prowess. But the government found out he was gay, arrested him and sent him to trial, He later committed suicide. This guy was a national hero. So you may not have everything just the way you want, but you need to remind yourself that we are slowly getting there. In fact, I believe by 2028, gay marriage in India will be legal. Imagine being gay in Pakistan ( and I’m not bashing them, but they were formed at the same time as us). They punish women for having too much sex with men, or even talking about it. What would they do to you? I’m not saying that you hate India. But you definitely under appreciate how far she’s come.
    Oh about the giving funds for relocation thing? That is ridiculous. The number of LGBT citizens in this country is definitely less than the number of uneducated,landless,and water/food deprived citizens. Any such grand budget we have will, and must go towards helping them first.

    WISHING YOU WELL,

    ATHUL

    1. You have read everything is just plain wrong way and much more biased because you got nothing that I meant. I am Hindu and I am very well aware about MY religion being openly accepting towards LGBT Krishna had been trans woman, cross dresser, Vishnu and Shiva had given birth to ayyappa, 2 Queens have birth to bhagirath, kama Shastra, etc. Infract according to Hinduism, there had been 50+ genders identified in total. So when I said religious fundamentalists, it meant fundamentalists of every religion. Stop thinking that I have any interest in Hindu bashing just because YOU THOUGHT it. I am well aware that there are political leaders in bjp who are big time supporters of LGBT but I raised this to PM not because I expect him to make a change but at least say something about it because back then, there was a change in UN regarding marriage equality and India has taken a stance against it and I was disheartened that India clarified it internationally that they won’t allow their citizens to marry another person of same sex in UN as well while PM just ignores the fact that there is an issue that LGBT people are facing. He speaks nothing related to the issue or ever addressed the issue. You don’t need to tell me about Sir Alan Turing. I have read each and every thing. I know America got marriage equality recently (that too not effective completely in all states) and UK also scraped off their discriminatory laws. You want me to appreciate India? Well, you think I under appreciate India because of one post. I don’t think one post regarding an issue should be the benchmark of whether I under appreciate India or whether I speak up for India.

      Oh about giving finds for relocation thing? That was supposed to be sarcasm.

      Next time, instead of finding hidden meanings behind the words that you should not and not understanding the hidden meanings behind the words you should, please re read the whole thing again. Maybe it will make a new sense to you or ask someone else to read it for you because they may tell you a different story that your brain didn’t process?

      Wishing you good luck,
      Divyaroop

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