Awarding Goa-based fashion designer Wendell Rodricks the Padma Shri will go a long way in legitimising homosexuality in India, vice president of Goa BJP Wilfred Mesquita said Monday.
Rodricks, credited with revolutionising the Indian ramp scene with his ready-to-wear lines with minimalist design, was among the 101 people awarded the Padma Shri this year. The list was announced on the eve of Republic Day.
Rodricks has openly acknowledged that he is gay.
Mesquita, also an official spokesperson of the BJP, was speaking to reporters at a press conference at BJP headquarters which was called specially to congratulate Goa's Padma award winners.
Besides Rodricks, Raghunath Mashelkar, the engineer-scientist who won the country's highest civilian honour, Padma Vibhushan, and tennis player Leander Paes, who won the Padma Bhushan, hail from Goa.
"Gay or not, it should not affect your getting the award. Personally he has never told me that he is gay. But maybe it will give legitimacy (to the movement to legalise homosexuality)," Mesquita said.
"His colleagues will be happy now that he has gotten recognition," Mesquita added.