The filmmaker’s next, the anthology We Are, features a story inspired by J Suresh, a homosexual soldier who left the force.
Army rejected Onir’s script on gay major because it 'casts force in poor light, raises security issues'
Mumbai - 13 Feb 2022 3:13 IST
The Indian Army has revealed its reasons for rejecting filmmaker Onir’s script last month. The army said the script for the short film, which is part of the anthology We Are, casts the force in poor light and raises security issues.
According to a report on The Times of India newspaper's website, junior defence minister Ajay Bhatt, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on Friday, said, “The reason for refusal to grant a no-objection certificate for a movie based on the life of an army officer (retired) is the portrayal of a romantic relationship between a soldier serving in Kashmir and a local boy, which casts the army in poor light and raises security issues.”
Bhatt revealed that in the past year, only one proposal out of the 18 received for approval by the army had been rejected. Features, documentaries and TV series that deal with the forces must obtain a no-objection certificate from the defence ministry.
The junior minister was responding to BJP member Varun Gandhi's question in Lok Sabha. He added that the approval process was not arbitrary or discriminatory and did not violate Article 14 of the Constitution.
Onir’s next, the anthology We Are, features a story inspired by J Suresh, a homosexual soldier who left the force. The anthology is supposed to be a sequel to I Am (2011), which also explored queer stories in India a decade ago.
The filmmaker wanted to look at gay lives in the country after decriminalization of homosexuality in 2018. Last month, he told Cinestaan.com, “I am planning to send an open appeal to the defence ministry before trying out a legal route.”
He has since launched a signature campaign on All Out which has been backed by over 7,900 people. Their goal is to acquire 10,000 signatures and get the defence ministry to reconsider its decision.