Waving the rainbow flag: Rainbow Dot
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
India, the home to the world's most diverse and mystifying population, always had a place for everyone in her heart. It was with the advent of foreigners that the ancient Indian wisdom espousing peace and tolerance of conflicting views began disappearing. Faced with the complex problems of the human condition, we have now started to trace back our roots to the ancient masters and seek solutions to the multifarious problems. One of such was the issue of LGBTQIA+ rights. In 2018, through a landmark judgment of the Supreme Court, which declared section 377 of the IPC (Indian Penal Code) Ultra Vires (unconstitutional), we have again re-ascertained our identity as Indians. Keeping up with the nationwide trend to support LGBTQIA+ rights, the NIT Rourkela administration has thus announced a new club, Rainbow Dot, for spreading the message of equality of genders and to increase the awareness of the NIT Rourkela junta regarding LGBTQIA+ rights.
One student spoke about the club:
I believe that preponderance of awareness schemes and protests is direction into non-existence but since that's a long way to go, the least that Rainbow Dot could do for LGBTQIA+ community is create a Safe-Space (the technical Safe-Space) as nowadays you see even religious extremists having an open discussion of their agendas but not the ones who really require discussions.
Rainbow Dot club is currently headed by Prof. Sambit Bakshi, VP, LCS, and Shivam Shrivastava, Secretary, LCS. They aim to spread social awareness on the right to equality for LGBTQIA+ persons inside and outside the campus and also to break the established taboos associated with such communities.
Many students feel that the campus is not welcoming to people who want to come out.
A couple years ago a guy in MV Hall was persistent to change his room just because his roommate was homosexual
Anyone who supports a progressive society where everyone can live on their terms should be a part of this club. Anyone who believes in 'no discrimination' due to personal choices of someone can join this club.
Prof. Sambit Bakshi had the following views and agenda for the club.
Social acceptability always comes much later than any legal verdict. We are now exactly experiencing the interim situation. What this club plans is to take little initiatives to conduct awareness programmes and make people understand to discard this social taboo of discriminating the LGBTQIA+ people. We also will try to ensure that no discrimination and discomfort is created to any LGBTQIA+ student of NIT Rourkela. One should be able to peacefully live and study here without being harmed by this social taboo.The club is new and we have not planned much, but we are willing to conduct a meeting with all interested people to seek suggestions on how to move about. The society should neither discriminate nor sympathize for LGBTQIA+ people. Looking at them or talking to them should not make them uncomfortable. They are equally good to have a coffee with or to be friends. The only "change in approach" needed is not to have a discriminative approach.
One of their preliminary targets is to showcase success stories of few LGBTQIA+ people who have made a remarkable contribution to the society fighting against this taboo. This can encourage an LGBTQIA+ person to not to be hesitant and will boost their aims and confidence level. While it’s legal status is known to all, the ignorance still thrives in the society and acceptance is quite low.
Team Monday Morning wishes Rainbow Dot all the best for its future endeavours and hopes for a better and safer society to welcome people of all sections.