The name Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil stands synonymous with the term Homosexuality. And it wouldn’t be wrong to tag him as the ‘face of desi-Queer world’. After all Gohil is the only known openly gay Indian royalty (he publicly ‘came out’ back in 2005 and consequently was disowned by family & ridiculed by people of his state). In 2000 he started Lakshya Trust in Gujarat, an NGO catering & working for the benefit of the AIDs/HIV infected. He has been regularly campaigning along with other gay-rights activists against the anti-homosexuality law IPC 377. In 2006 his social work earned him a UN award and in 2007 he was invited to none other than the mother of all talk shows, the Oprah Winfrey show.
Now in 2009 the Prince of the Underdogs has managed to hit the headlines once again but this time for a very different reason. Our man is in search of true love and a British reality show is the means to attain it.
Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil of the erstwhile state of Rajpipla in Gujarat, who is known for his gay sexual preferences, is seeking a true love through his role in a BBC series.
Gohil is among three princes who have been living under assumed names with the sole objective of finding true love. Gohil took the name Mani and worked in small jobs in the seaside town of Brighton for the series.
The two other princes in the forthcoming BBC series ‘Undercover Princes’ are Prince Remigius of Jaffna, Sri Lanka, and Prince Africa Zulu, a 30-year-old bachelor from Zululand in South Africa. [Link]
“I don’t think I could have found love in India because people who were attracted to me were more attracted by my princely fortune or princely status,” Gohil told BBC.
“I was undercover here, so it was easier — a litmus test – whether a person is genuinely in love with me.”
Fair enough. Agreed being rich & famous does have a downside. Although I can’t help but wonder whether his princely stature is the only reason behind his participation in this quest for a soul mate. Matlab, think about it – He (and the entire Indian Gay community) lives in a society which questions his very existence, forbids every inch of his lifestyle & topping it all, criminalizes the very act of love (making) – now you tell me how it can ever be bloody easy to find true love ( and live without fear) in such homophobic (claustrophobic) environment.
No wonder every second gay person in this country wishes (read: desperately hopes) to one day migrate to a homo-friendly nation.
Anyhoo here’s wishing Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil all the very best, even though I am not a believer of reality shows or true love – but if it makes the guy happy and further propagates the desi gay cause then I am all for it.
[Picture Courtesy : BBC Entertainment]
[Guest Author : Saakshi O. Juneja]