Article 377 has been repealed, and Manoj Bajpayee, who is currently shooting in Ladakh, is celebrating the fall of the draconian law criminalizing homosexuality. Says Manoj happily, “When I played the homosexual professor Ramchandra Siras in Aligarh, I realized what true loneliness is. The man’s isolation was more of an issue to me than his sexual orientation. I feel the Supreme Court verdict is a triumph for all discriminated and persecuted people of our country, whether it is segregation on the basis of sexual orientation, or gender, or caste or economical condition… we all need the law and the Government to support the weaker sections. If the Professor in Aligarh were alive today, he wouldn’t have to die.”
Manoj recalls the struggle he went through while playing the gay professor. “I felt the man’s isolation, his need for companionship more than sex. All our friends in the LGBT community need our help and support. This SC verdict is one major step in normalizing the status of gay people. But, we are a long way off from giving them their due rights.”
Manoj Bajpayee feels the need for film which highlights the problems of fringe communities. “In my new film Gali Guleiyan, I play a man who is even more isolated and lonely than the gay man in Aligarh. Such films need support. I am proud to play discriminated characters. What frustrates me is the lack of movie theatres and proper show timings for such films. I am bitter about the film exhibitors’ obsession with mainstream masala films at a time when public tastes are changing radically.”
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