The gay son of India’s cricket chief tells Indian newspapers that his father is using his political influence to torture him and his partner, and that this was now ‘a fight to the finish.’
Ashwin Srinivasan is the son of N Srinivasan, the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Ashwin, who is openly gay, has been all but disowned by his father, which he has made public through interviews to the Indian media.
Ashwin, 43, said that his father was vehemently anti-gay, and has been trying to ‘convert’ him since 1998. Things worsened, he said, when he fell in love with his partner of 13 years, Avi Mukherjee.
Now, Ashwin has stepped up his campaign, saying this was now a fight to the finish. He alleges that his father was using his political clout to torture him and his partner. On April 30, local police picked up the couple from an upmarket restaurant-pub, and allegedly tortured them by beating them with iron rods. Although the police deny these charges, the couple have released photographs to show how brutally they were beaten up in police custody.
This was not the first time they were arrested, the couple say. In 2002, a similar thing happened, when police kept them in solitary confinement for weeks, and had to seek the help of Ashok Row Kavi, a prominent gay rights activist in India.
Speaking to DNA, an Indian news service, Ashwin said: ““I have been told that all my money is being cut off. I am now left with nothing for the rent, transport and healthcare,” adding: “It is not that I wanted to live off my father… After years of violence, persecution and administering of drugs, we’ve become totally professionally and socially isolated and dependent on the very man we want to get away from.”
However, Ashwin now says he wants to take the fight all the way to its finish. “I am not going to give up without fighting,” he told DNA, “I’ve lost the best years of my life in my 20s and 30s and I will make sure my father pays for it.”
Mr Srinivasan has refused to comment on the matter, saying it was a private matter.