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Latest Update: 4/22/2016: #ThisJustIn Manoj Bajpayee has won the Dada Saheb Phalke Award (Critics) for his portrayal of Professor Siras in the movie Aligarh! 

Eros Now presents the heartbreaking and powerful story of Professor Siras, a prolific teacher who faced abject humiliation and persecution at the hands of university authorities and other citizens for being gay. Watch the emotional trailer of 'Aligarh' only on Eros Now. #ComeOut & Live.

Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Rajkummar Rao
Directed By: Hansal Mehta
Produced By: Eros International & Karma Pictures

‘Aligarh’ releases in theatres on 26th Feb, 2016

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Movie Written & Edited By: Apurva Asrani


 The movie is based on the true story of Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, an over 60 year old Professor of Marathi literature in Aligarh Muslim University in Uttar Pradesh, Aligarh. He died in 2010 after suffering major embarrassment at the hands of those who wished to expose his homosexual orientation. The events shown in the movie are actually as they occurred. 



1. Since the movie is based on the true story of a gay professor, it touches and breaks your heart at the same time. The portrayal is realistic without being depressing. The movie forces you to see the human side of not just the issue of homosexuality (which you probably already do), but on all issues where your stand might be opposing to that which those affected desire. 

2. Everybody already knows what Manoj Bajpayee is capable of- he can take a role and with ease get into the skin of the character. Well, here he passes that expectation and molds himself into a 64 year old lonely homosexual professor such that you feel this great urge to protect him from the heartless world.

3. All other actors in the movie are outstanding- Rajkummar Rao is a natural in his role as a journalist and that is expected of him, given his talent, but Dilnaz Irani really impresses in her role as his boss. She reminds you of the essence of the character of many people in India.

4. The mix of Marathi poems, a predominantly Hindu state and a Muslim university is unique. The fact that it is based on facts, only adds to the intrigue. The references to "Paya Khalchi Hirawal" (Grass under my feet) which in fact Siras did write and receive literary award for (from Maharashtra Sahitya Parishad) in 2002, all add up to the wonderful portrayal of the fascinating real-life person. The Marathi poems sound beautiful and the ambiance created during its recitation match it.  

5. The film educates its audience on the callousness of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which criminalizes homosexuality, and on the popular stand taken by the Delhi High Court in 2009 in declaring it unconstitutional

6. You are sure to stare at every detail shown in the movie- the empty narrow roads at night, the over crowded streets during the day, the far from luxurious university apartments, the rickshaw, the latches, the sweaters- all of it. 10/10 on sets and locations.


There is nothing in the movie that could have been done better. The narration, the order of story telling- from the first scene to the last is nothing short of an exemplary art of movie making. Kudos to Apurva Asrani for a well- put- together script and editing.


The movie is a must-watch movie with your 17+ age children to educate them on the importance of kindness toward fellow beings irrespective of their differences and preference- be it skin color, race, religion or even sexual orientation.

The movie dares to address one of the most taboo subject in the Indian society- that of homosexuality. In the land of Kamasutra, people barely acknowledge their sexual needs before marriage, let alone a different orientation. The movie forces a conversation on section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalizes homosexuality. Unfortunately, despite the fact that the Delhi High Court in 2009 had declared it unconstitutional, the Supreme Court of India upheld it in 2013. (Read all about it in our article 'Same Sex Ruling- The Desi Angle'). Incidentally,  the release of the movie (the movie releases this Friday allover the world) coincides with the Supreme Court's decision to review its ruling of 2013 and 2014 when it upheld section 377. Lets just hope that sanity and justice for all prevails.

Author's notes...

I had the privilege of watching Aligarh at the DFW South Asian Film Festival where it premiered in North America as its closing film. The movie got a standing ovation from the audience as Apurva Ansari appeared visibly touched by the audience response on the screen as he was connected via skype for Q&A that followed (picture below). Later Hansal Mehta, the director joined on skype as well for a Q&A with the audience. Vivek Vaswani, actor/ writer/ producer, was responsible for bringing the movie to DFW as a board member of DFWSAFF that is headed by Jitin Hingorani.


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Top- Apurva Ansari, screenplay and editor of Aligarh, during Q&A via Skype at the North America premier of the film at DFWSAFF. Bottom (left)- standing ovation from the audience as Ansari watches from his end in India. Bottom (right)- Hansal Mehta, director of the movie, post the screening via skype. 

Aligarh at DFWSAFF

By Sonal Kulshrestha

(Sonal is a computer programmer by profession and a writer by passion. She is an avid movie goer. She lives in Texas, USA) 


10/25/2016: #Aligarh has won the jury prize FFAST Festival in France.


Right- The author, Sonal Kulshrestha, with Vivek Vaswani at the DFW SAFF who represented the team of Aligarh at its premiere in North America.

(With compliments from Radio Hot Pepper of DFW, media partners of desideewar)

UPDATE, Feb 28th 2016:

Apurva M Asrani, writer and editor of the movie shared this with his fans on his FB page-

"For all those asking why we aren't releasing in Aligarh city, well, the Mayor of Aligarh has banned our film! Three court cases have been filed against us, including one by Dr.Siras's alleged lover. Welcome to the world of homophobia!! "

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