News » Entertainment » Gay sex is criminal in India, but Huma Qureshi lends voice to LGBT campaign

Gay sex is criminal in India, but Huma Qureshi lends voice to LGBT campaign

Actress recites a poem in ‘Ishq ki Ijaazat’.

By The American Bazaar Staff

NEW DELHI: Bollywood actress Huma Qureshi has lent her voice to a new campaign that aims to use poetry as a way of fighting injustice against India’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community.

The campaign, entitled “Ishq ki Ijaazat,” launched a video on Sundayshowcasing Qureshi reciting a poem that questions why love between two people who aren’t straight is any less meaningful than love between a man and a woman. The video has garnered over 21,000 views in just under a week, and the poem was written by Satyanshu and Devanshu Singh.

The creators behind the campaign have said that they are not aiming to just bring down Section 377 – the Indian Penal Code provisions that bans LGBT activity throughout the country, which the Supreme Court recently upheld to much controversy – but rather, to start an active dialogue about what love really is.

“Ishq ki Ijaazat” is a poetic campaign to urge people to bring love out in the open. It is not about sexual preferences. It is about a basic right that every human being deserves — to be able to love with dignity, and not prejudice. It’s love, for God’s sake! Give it the respect it deserves,” says the campaign’s YouTube page.

Qureshi is currently one of Bollywood’s hottest rising stars, and is coming off strong reviews from the film Dedh Ishqiya, in which she co-starred with screen legends Madhuri Dixit-Nene and Naseeruddin Shah. Last year, her film D-Day, co-starring Irrfan Khan and Rishi Kapoor, was a huge critical success despite stalling at the box office.

She is hardly the first person in Bollywood to take up the LGBT cause, however. Last December, just after India’s Supreme Court ruling, actor Imran Khan released his own hilarious Public Service Announcement addressing the “problems” with the gay community – that video can be viewed below:


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