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365 Without 377 – Movie Review

365 without 377Name of movie: 365 Without 377

Date: 2011

Length (hrs): 53 mins

Film genre: Documentary

Characters: Beena, Pallav and Abhenna.

Director: Adele Tulli, who graduated in South Asian Studies and has worked on several activist projects in India and Europe

Setting: India

 

Plot information: A documentary following the decriminalizing of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which criminalized any sexual acts between consenting adults of the same sex.

When does the movie take place? July 2009

What happens in the movie? Imposed under the British colonial rule in 1860, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code criminalize any sexual acts between consenting adults of the same sex, stigmatizing them as ‘against the order of nature’. On 2ND July 2009 the Delhi High Court passed a landmark judgement scrapping this clause, thus fulfilling the most basic demand of the Indian LGBTQ community, which had been fighting this law for the past 10 years. Three characters, Beena, Pallav and Abheena travel through the city of Bombay heading to the celebrations for the first anniversary of the historic verdict. ‘365 without 377’ is the story of their journey towards freedom. (IMDB)

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What makes the movie interesting? The chance to see a different culture handling a British imposed culture, and how they developed as people and overcame the challenges of being ‘gay’ in India, where even though the law as been annulled by the Delhi High Court, for many they still believe it will take much more than this to change the mindset of the Indian community as a whole

What is the best part? The best parts for me was looking at the three main characters lives, and how just like ourselves they are ordinary, but have developed as people and are willing to stand up for their beliefs and rights.

How do you feel when the movie ended? Neither sad or happy, but I did feel that I wanted to learn more, and hope that another documentary will do a follow-up say in 5 years time.

Who will like this move? People with an interest in LGBT activism, people with an interest in humanity, people who like India

On a scale of 1 (don’t like) – 5 (like), how do you rate this movie? For me definitely a 4

Boy, Sets Himself On Fire Because Of Anti-Gay Bullying

 

By The Gay UK, Jan 5 2016 09:37AM

A 15-year-old student in India has set himself on fire because of anti-gay bullying after being caught being intimate with boyfriend.

CREDIT: tomwang / Depositiphotos.com

CREDIT: tomwang / Depositiphotos.com

A student in Madia Katra, Agra, at the top of his class, set fire to himself after being caught by neighbours being intimate with a friend. He was relentlessly bullying and harassed the boy’s father has told the media in India.

The unnamed boy dowsed himself in stolen diesel on Sunday and set fire to himself. Family and neighbours quickly put out the flames, but he sustained 40% burns to his chest and legs.

Speaking to The Times Of India, the father said,

“‘He is unable to speak properly. The doctors say he is out of danger but I will only believe it when my son will talk to me,”

“The news spread and a some people started teasing and harassing him”.

The father added,

“Upset, he locked himself in the room for two days. He suddenly ran outside the house on Sunday afternoon and set himself afire by pouring diesel on himself.”

Same-sex activity is currently illegal in India and holds a penalty of up to life imprisonment. In December 2015 Shashi Tharoor, a member of the Indian National Congress party, introduced a bill to decriminalise homosexuality. The house rejected the bill by a vote of 71-24. Tharoor is planning to reintroduce the bill

INDIANS TALK STRAIGHT ABOUT LGBT

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Indian Marriage Equalityby / 0 Comments / 43 View / 03/11/2015

 

In a country where progress and regress continue to share a path, the voice of the people who believe in equality keeps challenging cultural prejudices

 

In the year 2013 during the month of December, the Supreme Court of Delhi decided to take a regressive step by recriminalizing section 377 of the Indian penal code. Taking India by shock, this 150-year-old act was recriminalized once again after the 2008 decision of decriminalising the act of consensual gay sex.

But what is section 377 of the Indian penal code?

377. Unnatural offences.—Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine‘.

This put in simpler words means, if any individual has voluntary intercourse, which is classified as not natural, such as a man and a man or a woman and a woman, they can be put in jail. Sounding completely absurd to the citizens of India, the secular country ironically put forward the argument that homosexuality is against Indian culture and actually goes against the idea of what a ‘natural’ relationship stands for.

Putting the LGBT community to the forefront for extortion and threats, the clear violation of human rights angered many other communities within the country and they decided to speak up and show their views on the issue through tweets, satires and short films.

One of the very first and most popular comments on the topic, was a video from the comedy group AIB (All India Bakchod), who very creatively did a parody of a typical Q and A video calling it ‘AIB : Imran Khan Answers Questions About Being Gay & Sec 377′. The group of stand-up comics decided to phrase out ridiculous questions about homophobia. For example: ‘why do these gay people choose to be gay, why can’t they like ungay’. And hilariously gave sarcastic answers like ‘walk over to your nearest gay person and flick the switch, gay to straight’, sending a strong message about the equal rights of homosexuals in a humorous way. The viral video made a huge impact around India and gave people the encouragement to speak about an important human rights issue.

But just like any issue, the topic died down during the three-year period. New issues came into the spotlight and act 377 took a backseat. However just when we thought people forgot about act 377, recently the fashion company Myntra decided to touch upon the topic of same-sex couples. The ‘Anouk – Bold is Beautiful’ ad campaign was the first ever marketing strategy within India to touch on the idea of same-sex couples. The viral advert doesn’t satirise the idea of homosexuality, neither does it present itself as a PSA. Keeping the authenticity of the Indian culture, the short advert introduces the idea of two cosmopolitan girls in a relationship who have the intention of revealing it to their parents. Focusing on the anxiety and nervousness of the couple, the advert really showcases the normality of these types of feelings. It wanted to represent the girls like any other heterosexual couple that is shown in the media, thereby making a necessary first step towards public acceptance of same-sex relationships.

By 2020 India will be the youngest democracy in the world, constantly being torn between modern and traditional beliefs. Basic human rights are sometimes sacrificed in the war of traditions and in the end it’s not always an easy black and white situation.

India’s 29 states are a melting pot of thoughts, values and beliefs that are constantly being changed, improved and discussed. Now that people are finally debating, protesting and projecting their opinions on difficult topics, it shows to the world the progressive attitude India has, and this is the kind of push in the right direction towards equality that a growing democratic society needs.

Out in Mumbai Director Adele Tulli on India’s Queer Future

I was given a DVD of this doucmentary some time ago, and unfortunately forgot that I had it.  I found it very interesting, firstly as it is a continent that I have not explored, and secondly as I have some gay friends living and working in India.  Sunneil and Leslie worked with me in the Middle East, and then returned to India.
They have often been in my thoughts, and having watched the documentary it has re-ignited my interested in going to visit them.
Try and find the full documentary and watch it – you will be enthralled by the diversity and the culture.
The documentarian discusses LGBT life in India after the repeal of the country’s most notorious antigay law.

Republished from The Advocate BY Daniel Villarreal

March 28 2013 4:00 AM ET

Adele Tulli

 

Adele Tulli’s documentary Out in Mumbai, which follows three LGBT Indian natives in the run-up to Mumbai’s first Pride celebration, begins with a focus on Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. It is a colonial-era law criminalizing any sexual activity “against the order of nature,” particularly intercourse between adults of the same sex.

On July 2009, the High Court of Delhi overturned the 150-year-old law as it violated consenting adults’ constitutional right to legal equality before the law.

We spoke to Tulli about her documentary — which premiered this month on the gay TV network HereTV — and about the future of India’s LGBT movement, the role she hopes her film plays in moving Indian queer rights forward, and more.

The Advocate: What compelled you to make the documentary and how did you go about finding its subjects?
Adele Tulli: I have been traveling to India for the last 10 years, lots of different reasons brought me there, among those my studies. I studied South Asian studies, focusing on social movements in contemporary India, mainly feminist and LGBT movements. When Section 377, the colonial law that criminalized homosexuality in the country, was finally repealed in 2009, the impact was amazing. LGBT issues were all over the news and for the first time the whole indian society had to acknowledge them. I was in Mumbai a year later and the energy among the LGBT community was still so vibrant. We were preparing the celebrations for the first anniversary of Section 377’s repeal and there came the idea of making it into a film. The documentary follows three people from Mumbai’s LGBT community that find themselves in the middle of this historic moment of India’s LGBT history. They are all close friends who were willing to share their personal stories, so to find them was not so difficult.

What have been your personal experiences with LGBT discrimination and community in Mumbai?
I recognize the importance of identity politics at a political level, but at a personal level I tend to avoid labels. If I had to choose one, maybe I would say queer. It depends on the context, if I am with a girlfriend in a very hetero-normative context, I would definitely call myself a lesbian. My experience with LGBT discrimination in Mumbai is not so different from a lot of other places where being gay is still very hard, Italy, where I come from, included. While I consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity of being in Mumbai during the first year of freedom of the LGBT community, the energy was so empowering. After years of invisibility, the struggles of the community were finally acknowledged and even if a law does not change society in one day, the impact it had on people was extraordinary. So many people came out, joined the community, and so many LGBT events, support groups, organizations were born.

According to Wikipedia, “The [Section 377] has not been used against homosexuals (or against consenting adults) is borne out by the history of convictions under this law in India, wherein there has been no case of a consensual homosexual act being prosecuted / convicted under this act.” Is this true?
It is true that convictions under the law were rare, but the main problem of Section 377 was that it was often used by police and social bigots to intimidate, threaten, harass and blackmail the gay and hijra community, preventing them from accessing legal protection from violence. The criminalization justified the social stigma and perpetuated a culture of silence around homosexuality that resulted in denial and rejection at home along with discrimination in workplaces and public spaces. It also constituted an impediment for organizations working on HIV prevention to provide health services and HIV/AIDS related information to sexual minority groups, etc.

What do you think are the top political priorities and future challenges for the LGBT movement in India?
First of all, [the Indian LGBT movement wants to] make sure that the Supreme Court approves the Delhi High Court judgement on Section 377. The Delhi High Court’s historic verdict of 2009 that read down Section 377 has been contested by a group of opponents and at the moment the Supreme Court is still due to rule its final verdict, so the case is still pending.

Then, the LGBT movement has still to face a large section of Indian society that is deeply conservative and homophobic. There are limits to which a law can change society. So this has to be done by grass-root politics, campaigning, creating safe spaces to allow LGBT people to come together and fight. The battle has just began, as Pallav [a gay activist that appears in Out in Mumbai] says in the film.

What do you hope to make happen with your film, in terms of cultural change and social awareness?
The film is probably just a drop in the ocean, but I hope it can help the LGBT cause, not only in India, but everywhere. I strongly believe in the political strength of personal stories. I hope that watching the film anyone could connect at a human level with the three characters and understand that sexuality and gender identities are personal matters, there shouldn’t be any social norm regulating them, let alone a law criminalizing them.