Indian singer-songwriter and LGBT activist Pragya has released a new single celebrating same sex relationships.
This is a big deal in India, where gay sex was only decriminalised in September. Pragya’s track Lingering Wine is the first song released by an openly gay Indian artist since the landmark decision
Pragya, who describes herself as a gender-fluid lesbian, says: “I am a person who is not confined to any single genre, nationality, religion or gender. I want to bring together Indian and Western, contemporary and traditional musical influences in a way that all types of people can relate to.”
LGBT rights in India
In a groundbreaking decision, the Indian Supreme Court decided in September to quash the long-standing law that banned gay sex.
Introduced when India was under British colonial rule, the law made gay sex punishable by a lengthy prison sentence.
Even though prosecutions were rare, the law was frequently used as a tool to harass and blackmail gay and lesbian people. It also served to suppress debate about gay rights and legitimise homophobia.
The court’s decision last year was a major victory for the LGBT community – and prompted one hell of a party in major Indian cities. But conservative views about sexuality still prevail in the country.
Music is being used by artists such as Pragya, and groups such as India’s first LGBT choir the Mumbai Rainbow Choir, to fight homophobia.
What’s next for Pragya?
Lingering Wine is the first single off a soon-to-be released EP Queerism, a fusion of EDM, jazz, hip hop and Indian music.
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