actor-turned-director Amol Palekar says his new film
Quest focuses on a taboo topic in India:
homosexuality. Palekar's film opens with a wife learning her
husband is in a gay relationship, he told the
Mumbai Mirror newspaper in an interview
Palekar said he wanted to raise the issue to
force India to confront it. "We have the tendency of
not talking about issues like homosexuality openly. We
tend to brush it under the carpet," Palekar said. "My
way of dealing with things is to face them up front."
Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, is the hub of
India's vibrant movie industry, called Bollywood.
Bollywood movies are often sprinkled with jokes poking
fun and ridiculing the gay community. Homosexuality remains
taboo among most of India's billion-plus population and is a
crime under law that dates to British colonial rule.
Health authorities recently called for a repeal
of the 145-year-old law that makes gay sex a crime.
While prosecutions are rare under the law, it
specifies that consensual sex between adults of the same sex
is a crime punishable by up to 10 years in jail.
"People term homosexuality as unnatural.
Homosexuality is not unnatural," said Palekar, a
veteran actor of the 1960s and '70s.
He said that in his movie the wife grapples with
whether she would have reacted differently if her
husband were in an extramarital relationship with
another woman. (AP)