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Section 377 verdict: Kabir Khan hopes cinema will not trivialize the gay community

The Ek Tha Tiger (2012) director welcomed the Supreme Court’s verdict decriminalizing gay sex and said India is finally free.

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Mayur Lookhar

The date, 6 September, has become a historic one in India after the Supreme Court struck down the controversial 157-year-old section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalized homsexuality.

In the 21st century, the verdict has been hailed by people from all sections of the society. Cinestaan.com spoke briefly to filmmaker Kabir Khan at a book launch event of writer S Hussain Zaidi’s latest, titled Eleventh Hour. 

Welcoming the Supreme Court verdict, Khan said, “It's great, I think it is fantastic, 71 years after Independence, finally everybody in this country is free. For a country that is stepping into the 21st century, talking about being a global power, this is something which makes our country feel more liberal.”

For over a century and a half, the law decriminalized sexual activities deemed to be against the order of nature. Indian society, too, has never been too welcoming of same-sex unions.

In the past, Indian cinema has been guilty of depicting the LGBTQ community in poor light. Acknowledging this, Khan said, “The industry has been guilty of trivializing, stereotyping so many things. You are right. There have been these really stupid comic stereotypes about the gay community, The fact is that the industry is made up of so many individuals that one cannot be held responsible for X person’s perspective.”

Khan is hopeful, however, that in future the industry will be more mature in the way it projects the community. “People are more conscious, people are being more relevant and real in the way they are talking about issues and relationships," the director said. "That is going to be reflected more in the films and series and various things that we produce.

"The fact that it has been decriminalized, people will be coming forward more to depict same-sex relationships. They will be able to talk more freely about them. Till now there was a sword hanging over people's heads. This verdict will embolden people to discuss these issues more freely.”

Khan is currently working on his next film titled 83, which tells the tale of India’s cricket World Cup victory in 1983. The film stars Ranveer Singh.

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