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Interview Hindi

Popular culture must stop presenting homosexuality as side joke: Alankrita Shrivastava

The director of Lipstick Under My Burkha (2017) spoke to us about the role she expects popular culture must play in shaping societal approach after Supreme Court repealed Section 377 in a landmark legal judgement. 

Shriram Iyengar

The decision by the Supreme Court of India to scrap the regressive Section 377 has been welcomed by Indian society with open arms, at least, on popular social media. However, the transformation of society might take some more time. Director Alankrita Shrivastava, whose Lipstick Under My Burkha (2017), sparked a flurry of conversation on sexuality and individual freedom, believes that popular culture will have to step up to help this transition. 

Praising the Supreme Court's decision to decriminalise homosexuality, Shrivastava said, "I think this was really long overdue that the law should not criminalise homosexuality. This is a very welcome decision. It is important for us to now take the cue as a society, and become more open. I am very happy with it." 

However, the director believes that this is the first step in a long process. "I think it is important for us to keep redefining what freedom means as time goes by. Freedom has to mean freedom for all the citizens of India," she said.

While praising the work of social activists and crusaders who have fought a long battle in the courts since 2001, Shrivastava said it is time popular culture and cinema stepped up to help shape the opinion on the LGBT community. 

"I think popular culture needs to stop presenting homosexuality as a side joke and treat it as a regular thing," she said, adding, "I do feel that it is important for us to just be sensitive to people around us. Sometimes, we are not thinking about how we say things, the jokes we crack and about how we portray them." 

With the decision from the Supreme Court, perhaps the change might be oncoming soon. 

Related topics

Section 377