by John Carucci, The Associated Press Posted Sep 13, 2018 10:05 am PDT Last Updated Sep 13, 2018 at 10:40 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – Bollywood star Abhishek Bachchan is cheering India’s decision to strike down a ban on consensual gay sex, calling it “a wonderful step in the right direction.”India’s Supreme Court last week reversed a colonial-era law that made gay sex punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a landmark victory for gay rights that one judge said would “pave the way for a better future.”Bachchan, at the Toronto Film Festival, agreed: “It shows the kind of progression that is happening in India, especially from the mindset of the youth,” he said Tuesday.While Bachchan said some Indian films have dealt with the issue of homosexuality, Indian cinema is generally not political.“Indian cinema, by and large, is very escapist by nature. You go in to a film, you want a laugh and a cry. You want to fall in love. You want to hate. You want to see some action,” he said. “I think the function of Indian cinema is to come in forget your worries for three hours.”Bachchan’s latest film, “Manmarziyaan,” or “Husband Material,” is a quirky love triangle also starring Taapsee Pannu and Vicky Kaushal. It’s directed by Anurag Kashyap.“I think it’s a wonderful bridge between quintessential Indian cinema with its usual tropes, and a cinema that is also coming out of India, which is more accessible and understandable,” he said. “I liked the fact that it’s a marriage of two worlds — Anurag’s more contemporary world with a very Indian backbone to the story.”Bachchan is happy that Indian cinema continues to grow outside the country and has made Indian characters more accessible. But sometimes the characters become negative stereotypes. One example, is Apu, the convenience store owner on Fox television series, “The Simpsons.” The character has come under fire as racist and stereotypical.Bachchan, who attended college in America and who has long watched “The Simpsons,” thinks the backlash may be going too far.“I don’t make too much of a deal of it. I think somewhere we’re getting a bit too highly sensitive about everything,” he said. “Let’s not do something outwardly to offend a particular community. But look — it’s ‘The Simpsons,’ OK? It’s not life changing. You have to learn to laugh at yourself a bit.”Bachchan, the son of Indian actors who is married to actress Aishwarya Rai, has been called the Brad Pitt of India, something he finds “embarrassing.”“He’s a wonderful actor, somebody, you know, we’ve all grown up admiring,” Bachchan said before laughing. “Sorry, Mr. Pitt.”“Manmarziyaan” opens Sept. 14 in theatres in the U.S., India, and Australia.___Follow John Carucci at http://www.twitter.com/jacarucci This Sept. 11, 2018 photo shows Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan during the Toronto Film Festival in Toronto, Canada. Bachchan is cheering India’s decision to strike down a ban on consensual gay sex, calling it “a wonderful step in the right direction.” India’s Supreme Court last week reversed a colonial-era law that made gay sex punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a landmark victory for gay rights that one judge said would “pave the way for a better future.” (AP Photo/John Carucci) Indian star Abhishek Bachchan on a victory for gay rights
APTN InFocusOn this year’s final addition of InFocus, Host Melissa Ridgen took a hard look at how 2018 was in terms of reconciliation.What were the steps forward, and backward, this year? Was there meaningful effort or just talking points and empty gestures?“We have to remember that Indigenous peoples are healing, in the either, the aftermath or still while cultural genocide is still actively occurring in this country,” said Ry Moran, director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. “So the focus on healing, the focus on protecting ourselves, the focus on protecting our children and our identities and our language is fundamental to the process of reconciliation.“And the principles of reconciliation really affirm that.”He went on to say that Canadians have to recognise that all Canadians have a role to play.“For non-Indigenous people it’s about knowing, and willing to be held to account and being responsible for, our collective actions as a country,” Moran said. “In terms of monitoring, being transparent in where we’re doing things and not doing things and really aggressively addressing our gaps in knowledge, are absolutely essential.“So people need to learn more, they need to listen more, they need to listen, not with their heads but with their hearts. And really we have to start with the very basic understanding that this is indigenous land.”Trevor Greyeyes, owner, editor and publisher of First Nations Voice Newspaper, shared a story of an event he covered for his paper.“I covered the opening of the Truth and Reconciliation office on Main and Portage and I remember, I’m not going to say his name because he’s retired from politics now… he comes, it’s his chance to speak with a bunch of dignitaries and says, ‘I don’t know much about history, I don’t know much about residential schools, but if this means you people are finally going to get over it, I’m all for it.’ which kind of left me kind of shocked,” Greyeyes said.Greyeyes told us that that after the report came out it, that comment made more sense to him.“I read something with now Senator Murray Sinclair and he was saying that he thought it (reconciliation) would take more than a generation. At the time I was thinking, a generation? I can see where he’s coming from,” he said.“That right now, we’re still in the discussion phase, you know. I don’t think we’re really in an action phase yet.”Historian and colonization academic Ian Mosby said of the TRC’s 94 calls to action, only eight have so far been acted upon.Former Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak grand chief Sheila North said Gerald Stanley and Ray Cormier verdicts, the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion purchase and cuts to Indigenous curriculum in Ontario schools were just a few of the many steps backwards towards reconciliation in 2018.
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