#BringLoveSimonBack

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 The movie, ‘Love, Simon’ recently made headlines for being banned in the country. It is the first queer teen film. The film also marks a turning point for the representation of the LGBTQ community on the big screen. This decision of the Indian Government (a.k.a. the CBFC) has immensely angered the LGBTQ community. The movie sheds light on the hush-hush and taboo associated with homosexuality. It talks about the difficulties that the community has to face for being differently inclined. The movie revolves around a teenager named Simon who has a major secret i.e. he is gay and he has told nobody about this. According to him, everybody deserves a great love story, so why should he be left out?  It is based on the book Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. Here’s what my peers had to say about this……

  1. 1 It all comes down to politics.


    First, we have Bhairavi, a student of junior college who aspires to become a lawyer.

    Q1. In your opinion was this a sound decision on the part of the Indian Government?

    A1. No, of course, it is not. I know for a fact that our country is not very open to such things and that our government should understand that we are all equal and they are yet again just normal people like ourselves. Since a majority of us are straight, which automatically makes them a minority, doesn't mean that we cannot treat them equally. They need to be accepted in public and this movie will bear foundation for that change.

    Q2. What in your opinion was the reason behind the ban?

    A2. Majority of the Indian population is not open to the idea of homosexuality. I believe that there is a political motive behind this ban. It was not issued in public interest but for their personal interest and motives.

    Q3. Do you wish that the movie is screened in India? If yes then how would you go about to bring that change?

    A3. Yes, I would definitely want that. I think that it was a foolish decision on the part of the Indian Government. Since we live in the twenty-first century which is considered the most modern era of all time, they should learn to adapt to change and in turn, change their mentality and way of thinking. Firstly, I would try to make people more sensitive towards the community by creating awareness. Basically, they don't want our sympathy, they just need acceptance. When we say that India is a developing nation then we need to understand that we need to develop as a whole and not be primarily focused on economic development, we need social, religious and cultural development too, to be known as a soundly developed country. Also, people should understand that it is not a medical condition and that some people are just made differently.

  2. 2 Be equal, treat equal.


    My second interviewee is Bhaavya yet again a junior college student who aspires to become a designer and makeup artist.

    Q1. In your opinion was this a sound decision on the part of the Indian Government?

    A1. No, definitely not. Our Constitution gives us rights and equality then why can't the LGBTQ community be a part of our society like the rest of us. I believe that it is not a tendency but instead it is just a feeling that is generated spontaneously and naturally, a feeling you can't really do much to curb. And since the movie particularly didn't portray anything wrong so there shouldn't be a problem to the society or state. The community should be treated equal and have equal rights to representation and speech. If we want India to be a united country then we shouldn't separate or discriminate.

    Q2. What in your opinion was the reason behind the ban?

    A2. I feel that the government banned the movie because same-sex relationships and marriage is illegal in India so it may be because of the 'if you don't support it then don't promote it' thinking. Also, India is a diversely cultured country and since the majority of the citizens are a little more religiously inclined so that causes differences. We need to be a lot more open-minded and a lot less superstitious. Basically, the decision was taken keeping the public in mind.

    Q3. Do you wish that the movie is screened in India? If yes then how would you go about to bring that change?

    A3. Yes, I would want that. I would start at a more personal level, maybe start with my family because a lot of our parents are against the idea of same-sex relationships. Maybe we can try to make them understand that it isn't such a bad thing after all. Plus, if the movie is released then it would cause an automated widespread awareness about the issue, for it carries a strong social message. Movies are the one source that can reach the masses quickly and effectively because they are affordable and easily comprehensible. 

  3. 3 At the end of the day love is love.


    Lastly, we have Manya same as the rest, a student of junior college who is absolutely in love with Mathematics.

    Q1. In your opinion was this a sound decision on the part of the Indian Government?

    A1. It was definitely not a sound decision on the part of the Indian Government. Our Constitution grants us basic rights as citizens such as the right to equality, liberty, speech and so on. Banning a movie just because it portrayed gay love and relationships was a stupid idea. It is plain and simple discrimination against the community, and just because they are different, they cannot get equal representation on the big screen? Movies that touched similar social issues such as Damini, which was the movie adaption of the heinous Nirbhaya case, which too was probably banned in India and didn't get the recognition it deserved. These are small steps towards equality and thus the movie should be considered and given the representation it needs. I know India is a narrow-minded country but we need to break the stigma associated with homosexuality.

    Q2. What in your opinion was the reason behind the ban?

    A2. Honestly, I feel that this decision was taken to prevent massive controversy. As little kids, it is instilled in us that only straight love is acceptable by the society. It is choked down our throats not giving us the freedom to explore and since nobody talks about it, it is thought that being gay is abnormal. And we shame the community for being gay, bisexual, transgender, pansexual, queer. And we are unknowingly prejudiced towards them. India being a huge ethnic and socially diverse country the government probably thought that the release of the movie would cause a major backlash and they basically didn't want another 'Padmavati' taking place. But then again if we are not exposed to things we never learn and thus we need to break the taboo and social stigma around these things.

    Q3. Do you wish that the movie is screened in India? If yes then how would you go about to bring that change?

    A3. Yes, most definitely. I feel that to bring about this change we need to be more communicative, we need to involve people more often and we need to make sure as citizens that we do not alienate the community, we need to empathize with them. It is proven scientifically and it is not something wrong and we need to understand that love is love. It's not a nuclear war or terrorist outrage that will destroy the world. It is not something bad and we need to understand this and make it understandable to the government and our fellow citizens.




     I would like to add that it is not just the LGBTQ community that needs this movie to come to India, it is we who have a greater need to view this movie, we need to understand and be aware of what it is like to be closeted and unable to express ourselves freely. This would make us more sensitive and bit more accepting of others. We need to start at some point, if we don't then India as an egalitarian society will be nothing but a Utopian dream. I really hope this movie releases and that we all get a chance to view it (legally). Lastly, I would love to hear your views too, my readers, so please feel free to drop a comment.


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9 Comments

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  1. guys i am very proud of you all , even i feel that by putting a ban on the movie is seriously not right . Good job

  2. Manobi, Bhaavya and Manya. I’m really proud of you guys for taking up such an important issue and expressing your thoughts about it .. I hope that the ban on the movie is removed and that the government realises that it is imperative that the movie reaches out to the masses and thus educate them regarding the LGBTQ community.

  3. It would have been so great if they allowed the movie to be released in India. Maybe it’s too much to hope, I think if people get to watch the movie, not only people who are against homosexuality would be inclined to reevaluate their thought process, but it would help break some stereotypes against gay people.

    1. Let’s not give up hope just yet. Sooner or later they will have to give the public what they want. So fingers crossed. And thank you for your feedback Oishi 🙂

Manobi Ghose

Seasoned

A vial of humour, a dash of poetry, a splash of thrill, a drop of vocabulary and a boatload of creativity is the recipe for what makes me, well me. I fell in love with words when my friends were busy falling for boys. While they all got their hearts broken, I found love. My love made me feel beautiful and it empowered me. I believe each word has a story to tell and all a person needs to do is to harness the ability to choose the right words, we all have beautiful, touching stories to tell, so let us do that right here.