We have seen Sir Ian McKellen in some unforgettable roles. Remember Gandalf the Grey in the ‘Lord of The Rings’ and the ‘Hobbit’ trilogies?
*Admiring smoke rings.*
The 77-year-old British actor was recently in India for a couple of days to celebrate his birthday that fell on May 25.
In between he found time for a series of interviews and spoke at length on Shakespearean plays and his views on homosexuality.
But speaking to Scroll, the celebrated actor apologized for India’s anti-gay law – IPC’s Section 377. And he had a very valid reason.
The Section 377 – a law on what is termed the “unnatural offences” – criminalises homosexuality. Though homosexuality was decriminalized by a High Court judgement in 2009, the Supreme Court overturned it in 2013. Now the power to get rid of the Section lies in the hands of the parliamentarians.
It is for this reason that Sir McKellen urged India to “grow up” and told us that we “do not need to follow British laws anymore”.
He rightly pointed at the fears in our system. “The politician thinks: What will people think if I vote to remove Section 377, will I get re-elected?” Sir McKellen noted. Yet Sir McKellen is quite sure we can change our laws and not live in a world “England was 30 years ago”.