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'Unfair and ridiculous': Filmmaker Onir reacts after Defence Ministry rejects movie script inspired by gay Major

Reportedly, Onir’s movie is inspired by the real-life story of Major J Suresh who quit the service

FPJ Web Desk | Updated on: Sunday, January 23, 2022, 02:26 PM IST

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Filmmaker Onir's script for his next film, inspired by the story of a gay Major, was rejected by the Defence Ministry recently.

Speaking to a leading news portal, the National Award-winning director opened up about the rejection.

Onir’s movie is inspired by the real-life story of Major J Suresh who quit the service - one of the major reasons being that it became untenable for him to remain in the Army given his sexual orientation.

Talking about the new law where if you have any character or anything to do with the forces, you have to get an NOC from the Indian Army to be able to make that film, the director said that he formally applied for the NOC on December 16.

After the rejection of the script, Onir took to Instagram and dropped a series of posts about the same.

In one of the posts, he wrote, “Defence Ministry bans movie script based on the real-life of a retired Army Officer who is Gay.

He further added, “75 years of independence, more than 3 years he Supreme Court of India decriminalised homosexuality but a society we are long way from being treated as equals. I have utmost respect for my army and wish they would not discriminate anyone who wants to serve the country because of their sexuality."

The rejection came as a shock to Onir who was sure that the script will pass as it is made with a lot of respect.

He said in the interview that the film is not really about the Major who quit the army. He spoke about seeing one of the interviews of the Major that he had given after quitting the Indian Army about how it was not possible for him to continue because in the Army, he had to hide his sexuality and it became impossible for him after a point to continue.

He added that it shouldn't be a factor and thinks that this is because of the outdated 1857 Colonial law. He stated that 56 countries across the world have taken the LGBT community as a part of the Army and he wants India to be a part of progressive nations.

It was 'heartbreaking' for the director because he was almost ready to shoot the film.

Reportedly, they were going to shoot the segment in March in Kolkata and Kashmir. The shooting of the entire film was supposed to be wrapped up in May. The four stories of 'We Are’ are connected to each other. He can’t shoot this film without this segment.

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Reacting to the same, Onir told the news portal that he was hoping that the army authority would realise how 'unfair and ridiculous' this decision was.

“Ahead of the celebrations of the 75th year of our independence, I am very disappointed with this rejection. Film-makers are supposed to question through cinema. This attempt to stop dialogue is unfortunate. True democracy does not exist unless it applies equally to all citizens irrespective of gender, sexuality, caste, class or religion,” Onir had told in the interview.

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Published on: Sunday, January 23, 2022, 02:27 PM IST