A script for a film showing a gay soldier in the Indian army has been rejected by the Ministry of Defence, NDTV reported.
National award-winning filmmaker Onir said his screenplay, inspired by a gay major who left the service, was “very respectful of the military” and not a “salacious story”, but was rejected because it shows a gay soldier.
Referring to “I Am”, his 2010 anthology which won two national awards, he said he was discouraged at being able to show homosexuality and police abuse of gay characters even when homosexuality was criminalized, but now his film is stopped at the level of the scenario. even after the Supreme Court decriminalized same-sex relationships, and the story is also inspired by something that’s already in the public domain.
“I realized that despite the Supreme Court verdict, the military did not recognize it and would still treat anyone from the queer community as illegal. That was the word used. And I thought that was a speech that needed to be made. It’s a story that needs to be told,” he told NDTV, adding that he created a fictional story about a gay man in the military who can’t be himself so he has to leave. the army, to be honest with himself. . “It’s really, really sad that in 2020, after 75 years of independence, being queer doesn’t allow you to serve the nation you love, in the military. That right can’t be denied and shouldn’t be denied. to anyone,” the filmmaker said.
“On December 16, I officially applied with my script, which I think treats everything with great dignity and respect…I have great love and respect for the Indian Army. The day before yesterday , I received the email and was told that the content had been reviewed, analyzed and rejected,” Onir said.
The filmmaker is consulting with lawyers to determine next steps, but says that as an independent filmmaker, it’s not really his job to go to court. “As a filmmaker, my job is also to engage in dialogue and use my medium to question institutions. I am even denied the opportunity to have a dialogue,” he said.