Ajay is probably one of those many men in the country, gay and otherwise, who face such harassment and gross injustice regularly.
Monalisa Das| The News Minute| July 17, 2014| 4.30 pm IST
Ajay is a 28-year-old Chennai based man. Currently unemployed, he lives with his parents and brother. He is dark-skinned, and chubby; nothing striking about him, someone you’d probably not give a second look if you happened to walk past him. Ajay is also openly gay. Now, could you notice him?
Until three days ago Ajay was busy taking care of his hospitalized father. And then on July 14, he paid heavily for being himself, for not being ‘normal’, and mostly because he did not hide it properly, because others could recognize him as a gay man. Ajay is now in a hospital.
In a letter written to friends and activists on July 16, Ajay talks about how he was raped, that too allegedly by police officers. Ajay does not want to file a police complaint as he is too scared.
He writes, “When those men raped me there was nothing left of me anymore except pain, apathy, disgrace, disgust, guilt and humiliation beyond measure. As I got dressed one of them told me that they have pictures and videos of me now. He said “Now there is nothing you can do but listen to us and do as we tell you. We have recorded everything. You can chose to obey us or you can chose to go to jail where you will be raped for life by criminals. It won’t be as pleasant as this. All I’ve to do is submit the proof, book you under section 377 and arrest you.”
In June a police officer found out Ajay was gay, taunted and then molested him. Now, Ajay was allegedly raped, by the same men, and a few new faces. Ajay says two of those who picked him up were police officers.
And courteous they were, because they picked him up from his home with the help of goons, a knife pointed at his back and also threatening to slit open his brother before him. And considerate they were, because they gave him a tablet that would numb his senses, before they did ‘the’ thing to him. And thoughtful they were, because they said they’d use protection. And decent they were, because instead of raping him in the open, they took him to a cold room with a blaring television and a bed and savagely assaulted his honour. They even dropped him home later that evening. What more could he ask for? Ironical, since he asked for it in the first place.
Ajay says in his letter, ‘During the drive the men vandalized me, groped me, touched me and laughed all the way, say disgusting things to me. Things they wanted to do to me. After some a while my head became heavy and I was feeling light’.
And then the two thugs and three policemen took away what little he had left of him; leaving him with shame, humiliation and an urge to end his life.
‘Whatever was left of me died when those policemen and women molested me and stripped me of my faith, hope and spirit.’
Ajay continues in his letter,”With tears in my eyes I looked up at him. I could say nothing, absolutely nothing. He continued “I’ve your aadhar number, your mobile number, your landline number and every other detail that is needed for us track you down. You can’t run from us.” One of thugs pulled me to him lifted my face to his and asked “You liked it didn’t you? You did have a good time, didn’t you? I’m sure you enjoyed it. Next time you can drink with us and do it without being drugged. But if you ever try to be smart you will be looking at your family’s heads while we #### you and then take your head.”
Ajay alleges that he was also sexually harassed and by the same policemen in June while returning from an interview. He was wearing a kurta, with leggings: and that could have been probably a clear give-away.
Ajay is probably one of those many men in the country, gay and otherwise, who face such harassment and gross injustice regularly. But in a country that is bombarded with stories of atrocities against women day in day out, do we really have the time or inclination to know and speak about the same thing happening to men? Or we’d better be without knowing?
Section 377 in The Indian Penal Code
- Unnatural offences.—whoever voluntarily has carnal inter¬course against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with 1[imprisonment for life], or with impris¬onment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine. Explanation.—Penetration is sufficient to constitute the carnal intercourse necessary to the offence described in this section.
In 2009, the Delhi High Court made a landmark judgment in which it decriminalized Section 377, much to the rejoice of the LGBTQ community in India. And then in 2013, the Supreme Court recriminalized Section 377.
This meant that those who had made their sexual orientation public after 2009, were now left feeling open and helpless.
Ajay refuses to register an FIR as he feels this will only worsen the situation, especially now that they have threatened to harm his family.
‘I haven’t slept in a month and now I’m again deprived of sleep and decided to write about this experience. I’m afraid to close my eyes. This haunting won’t stop. This agony won’t end. Again I’m taking a risk in writing about my second rape. But I’m writing this to you activists, to you community members, to you allies and to you stakeholders. Don’t give up the fight for LGBT rights and please be there for one another. We live among vicious and vile minds which think of nothing but violence, rape, deception and plunder. You, the community as whole and the allies are all what you’ve got for one another. Please support one another, be there for one another and do not give up the fight. I beg of you’, he says as he concludes his letter.
He however, wrote the letter, to highlight the atrocities that take place against men in our society, hoping that it would make some difference.
In his letter, he partially blames himself. He was always the fat child, the weak-in-studies child, the child with ADHD, the gay child.
He told The News Minute, “I cannot file a case, I am too scared. But I want my story to reach the right forums. I want those fighting for LGBTQ rights to use my story as an example of why the fight needs to go on.”
Read more here – http://www.thenewsminute.com/side_headlines/26