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Film

Defence Ministry Rejects Film Script Inspired by Gay Major Who Quit Army

The script was to be filmmaker Onir's next feature film and was inspired by the real life struggle of a soldier who had to leave his position in the Army as it became untenable for him to continue in it because of his sexual identity.

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New Delhi: The defence ministry has rejected a film script on the life of a gay Major of the Indian Army who quit service.

The script was to be filmmaker Onir’s next feature film and was inspired by the real life struggle of a soldier who had to leave his position in the Army as it became untenable for him to continue in it because of his sexual identity, Times of India has reported.

The film would have been a sequel to Onir’s National Award-winning film, I Am, which explored topic like single motherhood, homosexuality and other social issues.

Retweeting the TOI reporter’s tweet on the topic, Onir has written that homosexuality is “still illegal” in the Indian Army.

“As a society we are a long way from being treated as equals,” the director of My Brother Nikhil wrote.

In another tweet, Onir wrote, “I have utmost respect and love for my army and wish they would not discriminate anyone who wants to serve the country because of their sexuality.”

TOI has reported that Onir received an email from on January 19 from an additional director general of the strategic communication wing of the Army, Lieutenant Colonel Sachin Ujjwal, who said the “content of the script received via email dated 16 December 2021 has been analysed in detail” and then added, “It is regretted to inform that the script has not been cleared by IHQ of MoD (Army).”

In July 2020, it was reported that the defence ministry had written to the Central Board of Film Certification, urging that production houses be advised to obtain a “no objection certificate” from the ministry before telecasting any film, documentary or web series on an Army theme.

The communication to CBFC intended” to curtail the incidents which distort the image of defence forces and hurt the sentiments of defence personnel and veterans,” reports had said.

It was to obtain this “no-objection certificate” that Onir had submitted the film script to the Army. TOI has reported that the filmmaker is speaking to lawyers to chart a path of recourse.

Many have reacted to the report of the Army’s quashing of the film script on Twitter, noting that this goes against the Supreme Court’s decriminalisation of homosexuality.