United Nations turns to Bollywood to promote LGBT rights, launches 'filmy' music video

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 - 3:10pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA Webdesk

The Indian LGBT community has faced tremendous subjugation, more so in the recent months following the Supreme Court's decision to uphold Section 377 that criminalises homosexuality. And while the decision saw an immense outcry from the citizens, enough to make the apex court consider a curative petition, there is no denying that LGBT rights in India have a long way to go.

Taking cue, the United Nations (UN) brought home their most recent campaign to promote equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality—Free & Equal.

In an effort to convey thier message, the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) created a very localised Bollywood-style music video.

As part of the this launch, the UN's international human rights body, has roped in the support of some of Indian cinema's prolific names, actor Imran Khan and Celina Jaitly, who also features in it. Humsafar Trust founder Ashok Row Kavi, transgender rights activist Laxmi Tripathi, and comedian Cyrus Broacha were also present for the launch.

The two-and-a-half minute video is essentially a 'remix' version of 1979 Bollywood classic, Uthe Sab Ke Kadam. The song was recomposed by Neeraj Shreedhar of the Bombay Vikings.

Watch the video, called 'The Welcome', here:

Commenting on the launch, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said she was delighted to see the Free & Equal campaign extended to India. “LGBT people have historically been marginalised and subjected to discrimination and violence in India, as elsewhere,” she said. “But change is coming,” she added with much hope.