Actress Swara Bhaskar of Tanu Weds Manu and Raanjhanaa fame has come out in the support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community by slamming the controversial Article 377 of the constitution and terming it shameful and saddening.
“It’s a shameful matter that in a democracy like ours, there is a law like Article 377 which criminalises a community who’re part of us and part of the country, and their acts. It’s saddening,” said Swara.
She was present as a panel member on a discussion on homosexuality as part of the film, “Timeout” which is based on this theme.
“It’s really important that laws change. It’s not okay to have a law which criminalises homosexuality or unnatural sex or whatever weird language it’s put in. You’re making not just gay people but even heterosexuals vulnerable at the hands of the agents of the state like the police, which we’ve seen in various cases over the last year,” she said.
The actress also said that “being straight or gay is a personal choice”.
“It is completely normal and natural. There’s no hype in it. For all countries and especially India being a democracy, it is a right for everyone to express their identities in whatever fashion they wish to express,” she added.
According to Swara, the numerous bans in various parts of the country, whether it is the beef ban in Maharashtra, the porn ban, or the meat ban in Mumbai, are all pointing to intolerance from our society.
She feels people follow the idea that “if you don’t like something, just say it is illegal”.
“There is a genuine problem of tolerance in our society and it’s only growing. It’s very strange because India is and always has been multicultural, multilingual, multiethnic, multiracial right from the Indus Valley times. As people, we’re becoming more and more intolerant of being able to live with difference in our society,” she said.
“It could be difference of culinary habits like the meat ban controversy, or difference of thoughts, or sexuality, which is the sad truth of society.”