India Entertainment
Narrating agony of homosexuals, eunuchs through film
May 14, 2007 - 4:02:11 PM

New Delhi, May 14 - It may be the 21st Century but homosexuals and eunuchs continue to be mocked at and at times treated as criminals, outcastes and anti-social elements. A documentary film screened here brings out their agony, not just emotional but also because law is simply not in their favour.

T. Jayshree's 46-minute film titled 'Many People Many Desires', screened here Sunday as part of the ongoing International Festival On Gender And Sexuality, narrates the injustice meted out to such people who are what they are either by choice or by birth.

Set in Bangalore, the documentary talks about eunuchs and gays and the discrimination they have to face at every step of life. The 'special' communities blame section 377 of Indian Penal code for their pitiable condition.

'I live in a secluded place, I don't even go out but policemen don't let us live peacefully. They come and take us saying that we have to make a case. They present us in front of the magistrate. We are let off only after we pay a fine,' a eunuch says in the film.

'The lawmakers should understand that a man being attracted to a man or a woman to another woman is purely natural and they must get a right of expression. The sooner we understand, the better,' Sneha Ravi Iyer, a student of Lady Sri Ram College, told IANS.

The thought provoking film grows on you scene by scene and hearing about the emotional and mental dilemmas and trauma the sexual minorities go through is truly saddening.

'Somehow your parents convince you to marry and it becomes too difficult to balance both the lives,' a young gay married to a woman says in the film.

The gay and eunuch community feel it is vital that law give them the freedom to choose their sexuality. This would go a long way in removing fixed notions of them being emotionally insensitive beings.

Though a hushed affair, the film shows that homosexuality is common in Bangalore and the line between the rich and poor fades when it comes to having sexual relation with the same gender.

'On the roads leading to posh colonies, rich people often identify us through our walk and mannerisms. They signal to us and we slide into their swanky cars and go with them,' a gay reveals in 'Many People Many Desires'.

The festival has been organised by Public Service Broadcasting Trust -, Prasar Bharati Corporation, the Mac Arthur Foundation and Unesco at the India Habitat Centre here. It will end Tuesday.

'The very idea of holding a festival is to have films that have won awards and have something that set them apart. These films have a certain content in terms of themes, educate people and make them aware of certain issues,' said Snigdha Sah, assistant programme officer of PSBT.

The event, which celebrates worldwide visibility of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual people, also showcased Canadian film 'Zero Degree of Separation'. It looks at the Middle East crisis through the eyes of two Palestinian and Israeli gay couples.

'These films do not get a normal release because they have content that is objectionable to the general public or to norms. As far as the theme goes, if it is not acceptable to certain people that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. You cannot carpet the reality and say this does not happen,' added Sah.

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