Priyadarshan’s View on Homosexuality ‘Rankles’ Hansal Mehta 

The ‘Aligarh’ director talks about his disappointment with the National Awards.

Updated
Celebrities
2 min read
Hansal Mehta and Priyadarshan. (Photo courtesy: Facebook/ <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DirectorPriyadarshan/photos/a.665928116810807.1073741829.664766713593614/827198480683769/?type=3&amp;theater">director priyadarshan</a>/ <a href="https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10154005952972578&amp;set=t.690057577&amp;type=3&amp;theater">hansalmehta</a>)

Filmmaker Hansal Mehta says he may be disappointed, but respects the decision that Aligarh was not considered worthy of a National Award. However, he has hit out at Priyadarshan - jury chairperson of the 64th National Film Awards - for his views on homosexuality not figuring as a 'fantastic' social issue.

Aligarh is a widely acclaimed film about the real life story of a professor who was suspended for being a homosexual. The movie gave a fillip to the discussion of LGBTQ rights in the country.

On Friday, after the 64th National Film Awards were announced, Mehta had expressed disappointment but hoped the larger purpose of the movie - to spark a debate around LGBTQ rights - is not ignored.

A day later, he tweeted:

He says:

Aligarh was not considered worthy in that framework by the appointed juries just like The Lunchbox was ignored in the year that Shahid won two National Awards. I did not complain then and I’m not complaining now either. I’ve got to respect the decision and move on. What hurts is that in some statement, the chairperson who I respect and whose films I’ve often enjoyed, says that ‘While watching films, we realised that a lot of Bollywood movies were themed around homosexuality. The movies are not highlighting social problems. Whereas regional cinema are themed around fantastic social issues’.
Hansal Mehta in a statement
A still from <i>Aligarh</i>.
A still from Aligarh.

Mehta found the statement "disturbing and insensitive".

It makes you wonder and worry about LGBTQ rights and their absence in the current mindset as ‘social problems’. Priyadarshan sir, Aligarh did not meet the standards set by you and your jury - I accept that. But your views on homosexuality not figuring as a ‘fantastic’ social issue rankles.

Join The Quint on WhatsApp. Type “JOIN” and send to 9910181818.

(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

Published: 
Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!