With ‘377 Ab-Normal’, Ajit Arora has attempted to show the kaleidoscopic journey of the community, and make people understand that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation cannot be justified
As the cinema today is experimenting with content and it is shifting towards more relevant and important issues – Ajit Arora, a well-known Producer in Bollywood – also made an effort to openly talk about LGBTQ. With his film '377 Ab-Normal', Ajit has attempted to show the entire kaleidoscopic journey of the community, and make people understand that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation cannot be justified.
From where did you get the inspiration for making this web-film?
In this time of 'real cinema', we were looking for a socially-relevant theme on which we could work on. And, coincidentally, at that time the Supreme Court of India decriminalised the LGBTQ community by abolishing section 377 from the Indian constitution. This was the very core seed of the web-film, which was further developed by our creative team with characters and incidents.
What exactly does the film try to depict?
'377 Ab-Normal' depicts the ups and downs that people of the LGBTQ community went through in India for so long. Like, in 2010 Delhi High Court decriminalisation of gay sex, followed by the 2013's verdict of criminalising it again, and finally in 2018, abolishing the section 377 from the law and order of the country. So, you see, it's much of a roller coaster experience that the community faced. And, our web-film depicts this entire kaleidoscopic journey of the community.
As it is a sensitive issue and people in India usually do not accept it openly...what kind of expectations and fears you had?
Honestly speaking, we didn't think of any fears of failure or huge success of acceptance while filming '377 Ab-Normal'. All we wanted was to demonstrate the real incidents which were happening around the country, and to make the people understand that sexual orientation can't be a justification of discrimination by any means.
Amid all the struggles that the community fought for a long period, the abolition of section 377 had put an end to their sufferings as a whole. So, it relatively appeared like a neat circle of incidents, and we didn't give a second thought to it and opted the idea as our subject.
Amid all the struggles that people continue to fight with for long, the abolition of section 377 was something that put an end to the sufferings of the LGBTQ community. So, it relatively appeared like a neat circle of incidents and we didn't give a second thought to it and opted it as our subject.
How was the response?
'Overwhelming'. People gave '377 Ab-Normal' a mammoth love. Some of the people found it relatable and showed huge eagerness to the web-film. It clearly showed us that '377 Ab-Normal' triggered their curiosity and thoughts about the community and their lives – which was our prime motto to achieve.
Do you think this project could have been possible without web-platform?
It could have been possible. But, we surely can't deny the huge range of reach that web-platform provides us. Therefore, we thought that web-platform would be the best to showcase our work.
What's next? What are the other issues you want to work on?
Though there a lot of socially impactful incidents taking place, I don't want to confine to just the socially relevant stories. I believe that any good content with good treatment gets acceptance from the people. And therefore, we are ideating on good scripts of vast range for our next project.