LGBT community breathed a sigh of some relief when the Supreme Court referred the curative petition over Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that seeks to legalise gay sex to a five-judge constitutional bench. It’s almost a month and the whole community along with a huge section of the society are awaiting the decision.
In the backdrop of such circumstances, when Aligarh, a film on a gay professor, gets its theatrical release, the maker and the cast alike are excited to know how the audience would react to this film. While the judiciary will take its own decision, uninfluenced by happenings outside the court, the cast and crew involved with the movie are hoping that the Section 377 is scrapped for good.
“What is paramount is that this ridiculous section of the Indian penal code is removed and Aligarh being a part of it, I am glad it is coming out at the right time so that the debate become more mainstream; becomes part of the societal debate. The audience is the one that’s going to influence this debate. They will watch the film, think about their prejudices and see how this section is discriminatory in nature,” said director Hansal Mehta.
The film is biographical drama. The protagonist of the film Manoj Bajpayee essayed the role of Dr Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, a gay professor of the eponymous university and the film primarily shows how extremely he gets slandered for his sexual orientation. He has lived the life of professor Siras, at least on screen and believes that Section 377 needs to go.
“It takes away the basic rights of a segment of the society. What is great happened that Supreme Court has taken cognisance, that they welcomed the curative petitions and referred it to the five judges’ bench to think about, to mull about, to ponder over and consider all the dimension of it. They will definitely come out with something really, really constructive,” said Bajpayee.
Rajkummar Rao, who plays a very pivotal character alongside Bajpayee, is certain that there couldn’t be better acknowledgment if it plays an important role in the whole debate around Section 377.
“People were saying, someway Aligarh was playing an important part in the whole debate. I feel very proud of that thing. We want that Section 377 to be scrapped, to be gone. If that happens, somewhere even minutely if Aligarh influences the decision and it comes out in our favour and if Aligarh is part of it then there is nothing more to be proud of,” said Rao.