LGBT Rights In India : The Way Forward

Boston Pride and South Asian Arts Council Hosts Panel on 

LGBT Rights in India : The Way Forward

Boston Pride’s Human Rights and Education Committee and the South Asian Arts Council are hosting a panel to discuss global issues surrounding LGBT rights focusing on South Asia. The panel will discuss and analyze LGBT issues from legal, political, business, health and cultural perspectives. Recently, the Supreme Court of India re-criminalized homosexuality by enacting Section 377, which is having a profound impact on LGBT community in that part of the world. The event is sponsored by the South Asian Arts Council, an organization that connects with the community to share the rich heritage of South Asia with the modern world.


There are a significant number of South Asians living in the Boston area who are working on advocating for the LGBT rights and equality in South Asia. The panel will discuss ways in which local supporters can help support activism overseas.  The panel will explore the paradox that India, the world’s greatest democracy, is moving forward, but archaic laws like Section 377 diminish the global perception in a human rights issue.  Using footage from the Indian media relating to 377, the panel will start the conversations and discuss the latest developments on the issue. 


Our panel will feature an interactive multi-media platform with clips from conversations captured in the news to help educate and  the show the similarities with what is going on in India and the early LGBT movement in America. By working with Boston Pride we hope to highlight, educate, strategize and apply pressure to show alliance and solidarity with the LGBT - humanitarian fight in India.  


Following the panel there will be a reception hosted by South Asian Arts Council and Boston Pride.

Monday, June 9, 2014 

6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Fenway Health Center
1340 Boylston Street, Boston, MA






Meenu Motwani-Jethra

Meenu Motwani-Jethra

Menka Jethra married to Indra for 35 years. Worked for Honeywell Human Resources, Recruiter & Business Banker.Local community leader and ally of the South Asian LGBT community, she has been a leading voice through  her visibility in the our community. Being the proud mother of a member of MASALA (Massachusetts Area South Asian Lambda Association) her support has been monumental to many in their own journey of acceptance from their parents. 


Sarbpreet Singh

Sarbpreet Singh

Based in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, USA, Sarbpreet is a poet, writer, commentator, and playwright, who has written extensively on issues relating to social justice.  He writes a weekly column for the popular culture magazine, SikhChic. He has been an executive in the technology industry for several years. He is very active in Boston Interfaith circles and frequently represents the Sikh community at Interfaith events. He is the founder and Director of the Gurmat Sangeet Project, a non-profit dedicated to the preservation of traditional Sikh Sacred Music. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Refugee Immigration Ministry, a Boston area non-profit that provides services to refugees and asylum seekers.

Meenu Motwani-Jethra

Payal Sharma

A native of the Boston area, C. Payal Sharma is a co-founder of The Genki Spark, an all-women, pan-Asian, arts and advocacy group that uses Japanese taiko drumming, personal stories, and creativity to build community, develop leadership, and advocate respect for all.  She has been implementing social justice and leadership development youth programming for over 11 years through the National Conference for Community & Justice, the Boston Center for Community & Justice, and YW Boston, and now works as a consultant in the non-profit sector.  Payal is a 1st-generation queer South Asian-American, proud of her Indian/Desi roots. As a regular contributor and MC/host of East Meets Words, a monthly open mic featuring Asian/Asian-American artists, Payal also loves to perform spoken word, poetry, and stand-up comedy. Payal surrounds herself with people who look to change this world for the better and won't settle for less. She strives to facilitate empowerment, truth, and love in our personal lives as well as in the communities we collectively belong to.

Meenu Motwani-Jethra

Amit Dixit

Amit Dixit, Founder and Executive Director, South Asian Arts Council was Born in Jaipur India.  Amit Dixit came to the Boston with his parents in 1973 and grew up in the neighborhood of Jamaica Plain.  Amit has combined his respect for his native culture and his entrepreneurial spirit to establish the South Asian Arts Council and strives to bring communities together through innovative arts programming. Amit has developed and managed programs for digital conversion services and served on the boards of nonprofit organizations including Map for Health, GLAD, The History Project, and the Boston LGBT Film Festival.


Catered by Himalayan Bistro

Community Partners

1340 Boylston Street, Boston Ma

1340 Boylston Street, Boston Ma

Fenway Health