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Indian director
wants new film to raise debate about homosexuality

Indian director
wants new film to raise debate about homosexuality

Well-known Indian 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 published Monday. 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)

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