Features Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 05:30
"Unfortunately, I regret shopping with you people now," wrote Divya Roop in an open letter to Bewakoof.com on his blog "Wanderer". No business establishment would be happy to get such a feedback from its customers. Then what is the story behind his displeasure towards Bewakoof.com, a youth fashion and lifestyle brand? In his blog post, Divya Roop expresses his disappointment over a meme shared on Bewakoof.com’s Facebook page. He points out that the meme which apparently read, “save the girl children or else 25 years later your son will come home and say Asha to mili nahi so Ashish le aya” is outright homophobic and disrespectful.   "The cause maybe good but in order to promote that, you people are spreading homophobia," Divya Roop wrote.  "What’s wrong with the post? Let me help you understand. In our country we are already denied from having the rights to marry the guy we love and there are hell lot of homophobic people who just hate our existence as if we are intruding their lives. To add to their hatred, your post suggests that we want to marry men because we don’t have the option to marry a girl," he writes on the post dated May 18. In the open letter, he further pointed out that gay men have existed from the very beginning of human life and that homosexuality does not occur due to scarcity of women. "NO WE ARE NOT SUBSTITUTES. We want to marry a person of the same sex for the same reason any straight couple wants to get married and that is love," he writes. However, Bewakoof.com soon issued an apology to the blogger for "hurting your sentiments" and took down the offensive meme from their page. In a reply to the blog post, they pointed out that the meme was not intended to offend anyone and is merely "a humorous take on the sex ratio issue prevailing in India". Speaking to TNM, Screenshot of Bewakoof.com's response "We did not anticipate that the post could be interpreted as homophobic, and it was in no way a representation of our opinion. We stand for public humor and social causes but we don’t intend to ridicule any individual or community," Bewakoof.com team replied. While speaking with TNM, Divya Roop said that he appreciated the fact that the website took it down. "Today, in India and many countries, many LGBTIQA face so much of oppression and non acceptance for who they are. What's so bad in being gay that you have to create a fear on the homosexuality in order to save girls? I am a feminist and I stand up for the rights of women and I strongly believe that girls should be saved. But I think there are many better reasons to save girls," Divyaroop says. "I am glad that they understood the depth of the issue and decided to take off that post. More than their apology, I appreciate that they mentioned they have no intention to defend their post. It shows that it was an honest mistake and they acknowledge it. It is more than enough," he added.

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