By Subhash K Jha
BOLLYWOOD: Filmmaker Onir, the only prominent personality from Bollywood to come out openly about his sexual preference, has written a heart-felt letter to the honourable Chief Justice Of India lamenting that under IPC Section 377 he, Onir, is a criminal.
Onir has now sent the letter to the Attorney General .
Onir reveals that he now wears the “rainbow tie”(symbolic of the LBGT movement) to protest-movements. “My protest will clearly intensify in the coming weeks. I don’t want to live a hidden life. The law has to change, so I can be a free citizen. How would people feel if the heterosexual act was criminalized?”
Now Onir says he wants prominent members of his own film fraternity to come out in support of the gay movement, even if on a personal level they choose to stay in the closet.
Asserts Onir, “If staying in the closet makes them happy who am I to pass judgement? It’s their lives they can lead it how they want. However after the Supreme Courts December 11 verdict(disallowing the decriminalization of homosexuality) it is more important than ever that icons from the industry speak up irrespective of their sexual orientation and not resort to just token protest statements on twitter.”
Onir says he has sought and got support from some important voices and faces in the film industry. “Zoya Akhtar, Nandita Das, Purab Kohli joined in for the Protest Day in Bombay. Kiran Rao, Vikramaditya Motwane, Juhi Chawla and Sanjay Suri were also keen to come forward and show their support. But they were out of town.They’ve promised to be supportive the next time.”
Whether he exercises the right or not Onir feels he must be given the right to get married. “I want the right to get married . I am not a big fan of the institution of marriage. But it’s a choice I should be given to make. I wouldn’t want to get married just to show my defiance to this verdict.”
Onir thinks it’s shameful that the gay community needs to hide its sexual preference to avoid being jailed. “My life should be allowed to be as private as anyone else’s.I respect my dignity. I am not doing anything that needs to be hidden. Just as there are some women who accept domestic abuse and other women who speak up against it, there are people who happily keep their sexual orientation hidden and others who feel comfortable with their sexual preference out in the open .I belong to the second category of people who won’t take injustice lying down.”