National award-winning film editor Apurva Asrani, who was one of the prominent voices against Section 377 that criminalised gay sex, says he is very happy with the verdict of the Supreme Court that decriminalised homosexuality between consenting adults.
“The tears haven’t stopped flowing since I heard the news. Seventy one years after a majority of Indians achieved complete independence; the LGBTQ community is finally free. It’s been a lifetime of suppressing true desires and then living in fear of criminal prosecution. Finally, the good judges of the SC have spoken of us with respect and dignity. Now the law is with us,” Asrani told IANS.
“While it will take time for society to change its mindset, at least we will have access to legal recourse in case we are harassed or discriminated against. I feel much gratitude towards all the rainbow warriors who have been relentlessly fighting for this day,” he added.
He wrote the story, screenplay and dialogues of one of the most celebrated films, Aligarh, that shed light on the life of Aligarh Muslim University’s professor Ramchandra Siras, who was suspended and humiliated as he was a homosexual. The film was directed by National award-winning filmmaker Hansal Mehta.
Though Asrani and Mehta, who worked together in films like Shahid, CityLights, Aligarh and Simran, later had a falling out due to professional differences, the verdict somehow united them.
“Personal differences aside, I congratulate Apurva Asrani on being an important voice in this fight to gain justice for a community that has long been marginalised by law and society. His stand is vindicated. Aligarh stands vindicated by the courts. The ball is in our court now,” Mehta tweeted.
Asrani replied saying: “Congrats Hansal. This is a huge victory for us all, as a society. Thank you for making Aligarh and for giving me and India’s LGBTQ, a platform to voice ourselves.”