India’s Most Influential Gays and Lesbians: ONIRBAN DHAR (ONIR)
His “My Brother Nikhil” gained cult status and “I Am” touched the hearts of multiplex audiences across the country. Onir’s films tell stories that need to be told.
When I see my script transformed into reality on the screen, it gives me great happiness and satisfaction. Ti be able to tell my stories to people, without being subject to the norms of the industry I’m in is the biggest motivating factor for me.
What is the one achievement you’re most proud of ?
I’m proud of the fact that I can make films without projecting any of the stereotypes about people that we often fall prey to. I feel very fortunate to be able to do something that touches the lives of people, to do the things that I most love to do.
What disappoints you most ?
I’m saddened by the fact that even today we live in a situation where we’ve failed to recognize the importance of human rights’ issues. Even today the Section 377 case is pending in the Supreme Court and we do not have a clear decision on it. So many people still lead double lives.. from the last four years we’re having Pride parades- and I still have no idea where we will be in another twenty years. I’m aghast at the cruelty and hatred people are capable of.
What is your message for India’s young gay and lesbian people ?
Do not be so scared of the reactions of your families and friends. If they really care for you and love you- being gay just doesn’t matter. Too many of us feel safe in our closeted lives, and do not feel the need to voice ourselves- that should change. It’s important for us to show our numbers.
So what’s next Onir ?
I’m currently producing a film called Chauranga based on class struggles in Jharkhand. It’s about a fourteen year old dalit girl who falls in love with a sixteen year old upper caste boy. Another film that I’m directing right now is called Shabd. It deals with complex relationships and I feel it’s a step beyond I Am.