Victory for gays gets three cheers from Bollywood

By Subhash K. Jha, IANS
Saturday, July 4, 2009

MUMBAI - Bollywood can’t stop talking about the Delhi High Court’s landmark judgement that has decriminalised gay sex. From Shatrughan Sinha to Sushmita Sen, all say the verdict was long due and celebrates an individual’s right to choose. And they all feel lesbians, gays and transgenders can finally live freely without fear.

Shatrughan Sinha: Old rusty laws are like useless politicians. They should be thrown out. I’m glad Section 377 has been repealed. It was long due. What two people do in the privacy of their bedroom is nobody’s business. Homosexuality is not a phenomenon restricted to one country, culture or community. All over the world some of the finest minds are inclined towards same-sex relationships. What is wrong with that as long as two people are happy?

John Abraham: I think the right to a personal choice is a very fundamental right and, thank god, the law against homosexuals has been repealed. Yes, I’ve gay fans and I did a film ‘Dostana’, which mercifully did not ridicule the community. I’ve been brought up in a very liberal Parsi-Catholic household. I believe minorities don’t exist any longer. Every community - including homosexuals - has a majority voice.

Rituparno Ghosh: Better late than never!

Sushmita Sen: I always salute decisions that celebrate an individual’s right to choose. I could never understand any form of love or any kind of relationship being ‘criminal’. Cheers to all those human beings who have won the freedom of choice.

Mugdha Godse: I welcome this decision with open arms. I’m happy a man now has as much right to love a man as he has the right to love a woman. Gays no longer need to hide their feelings. I’m happy for many of my friends.

Manisha Koirala: Some of my closest friends are gay and they are among the best human beings I know. I think such an ancient law needed to be repealed long ago. We live in contemporary times when people of all genders and sexual preferences must be looked at in the same line of vision.

Shekhar Kapoor: This should’ve been done long ago.

Irrfan Khan: It’s a sign of a system adopting a viewpoint that indicates openness. This will rid the guilt that gays live with and stop police exploitation of the community. I played a gay character in Mira Nair’s short film directed by Zoya Akhtar. I researched on their anguish. It was terrifying.

Sanjay Suri: Criminalisation of gay sex among consenting adults was a violation of fundamental human rights. It’s a progressive judgement. The law should have been done away with ages ago.”

Purab Kohli: Super. It’s a giant step ahead in the image India is building globally.

Rajeev Khandelwal: I believe in ‘to each his own’. That article 377 has been repealed reveals a very mature attitude to an universal issue.

Chitrangada Singh: I think it’s great. Every individual has the right to self-expression. Homosexuality didn’t stop existing just because we all denied it.

Neil Nitin Mukesh: Thank god people realised homosexuals are human beings with deep emotions and urges for which they were being punished for years. Now they can live peacefully without the law breathing down their necks. This change was long overdue.

Riya Sen: Most of my closest friends are homosexuals. I’m very happy for the gay community. We’re a democracy; so why curb anyone’s freedom?”

Raveena Tandon: Absolutely fantastic! Equal rights for all and the freedom of choice.

Subhash Ghai: I’m always receptive to the changing world and the truth about human nature being revealed. Since the inner truth is always more real than the social truth, the reality within takes time to come out and be accepted by society.

Maradona Rebeillo: The court verdict is a positive step. But it’s important that Indian society also accepts homosexuals and gives them breathing space.

Imtiaz Ali: One more step forward in personal freedom and towards building a fair and liberated country.

Abbas Tyrewala: I’m amazed and delighted. It’s a step I thought we wouldn’t be ready to take for another 20 years. Now if only we showed the same maturity in providing the right to freedom and option in marriage, religion, censorship, etc.

Apoorva Lakhia: A right step in the right direction for the new India.

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