A human rights playlist for Valentine’s Day

soumya, Amnesty International India
14 February 2019 1:34 pm

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today, in a time of widespread intolerance and hate, we could all use a reminder that love wins. This year’s Valentine’s Day is especially important to celebrate, given that India has finally decriminalised same sex relations – a big win for the LGBTI community.

To celebrate this special day, here’s my playlist on love, tolerance and kindness.

Born This Way

“No matter gay, straight, or bi, lesbian, transgendered life”, Lady Gaga sings, you were “born this way”. This song beautifully captures the fact that sexual orientation is not a choice, and that who you’re attracted to cannot be flipped like a switch.

All The Things She Said

An early 90s hit, ‘All The Things She Said’ was one the few songs of its time that hinted at a lesbian relationship. Until recently, lesbians have been represented far less in mainstream media than gay men, and “All The Things She Said” was a welcome relief.

We Are The World

The notion that compassion and kindness should be at the heart of a global community was celebrated by the iconic song “We Are The World”, which has been a cornerstone of many charity initiatives.

Last Night I Had A Dream

This lovely folk song by Simon & Garfunkel paints a beautiful picture of a world without violence and injustice, where politicians set aside their differences, soldiers drop their weapons and wars come to an end.


In “Krishna”, the Colonial Cousins explore the similarities between religions as they call on Allah, Krishna and Jesus to bring harmony and world peace in a time of hatred and violence.

Pyaar Kıya To Darna Kya?

Everyone can recall Lata Mangeshkar’s beautiful voice from the 1960 hit “Mughal-e-Azam.”

Today the question “Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya?” (‘why should we be afraid, when we have loved’)  is still relevant, at a time when the discredited idea of ‘love jihad’ is still a common phrase, and the road to equal love remains tumultuous.

But as Madhubala’s character Anarkali sings, “Pyaar Kiya Koi Chori Nahin Ki” (“we have loved, not committed a crime”) – we have to remind ourselves that love can never be a crime.