Nishit Saran

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Nishit Saran (1977-2003) was an Indian gay activist and filmmaker, best known for the 1999/2000 documentary Summer in my veins that featured at a number of film festivals.[1]

Nishit Saran
Born 1977
Died 2003
New Delhi, India
Nationality Indian
Occupation Filmmaker, gay rights activist


Saran was born and raised in New Delhi. He completed his education at Army Public School, Dhaula Kuan. In 1994 he enrolled to study film-making at Harvard University, graduating summa cum laude before taking up a teaching position at Harvard. He was active in Harvard’s Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender and Supporters’ Alliance.[2] In 1996 he was awarded Detur Prize,[3] Harvard's oldest academic honor presented to sophomores for receiving the highest grades during their first year. He was appointed to the Phi Beta Kappa academic honors society.[4] In India he campaigned for gay rights, lecturing at colleges and contributing news articles, reviews, and essays to a number of Indian newspapers.


His writing included the 8 February 2000 Indian Express piece "My sexuality is your business" attacking Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. Section 377 then included a provision criminalizing same-sex sexual activity which was stricken down in 2009.[5] His best-known work was his film Summer in my veins, in which he captured his coming out to his mother on film.[6]


Saran was killed in a 2003 car accident when he was just 26 years old at Lodhi Road in New Delhi along with Channel V video jockey Pooja Mukherjee.[7][8] Following his death his mother, Minna Saran, established the Nishit Saran Foundation to campaign for the decriminalization of homosexuality in India, becoming a prominent gay rights activist.


  • Project Flower : A short documentary commissioned by the Centre for AIDS Prevention Studies in San Francisco, about street children in the Nizamuddin area of Delhi.[9][10]


  1. ^ IMDb entry
  2. ^ "Graduate Known For Activist Films Dies". The Harvard Crimsom. Retrieved 19 July 2014. 
  3. ^ "Sophomores Awarded Detur Book Prizes". The Harvard Crimson. 
  4. ^ "Harvard College Phi Beta Kappa". 
  5. ^ Nishit Saran Foundation
  6. ^ "Out, Into The Spotlight". The Indian Express. 16 July 1999. Retrieved 2008-09-05. 
  7. ^ "'I want to celebrate her life'". The Times of India. 25 April 2003. Retrieved 2008-09-05. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ Court Document
  10. ^ [1][Digital Talkies Film Festival on Zee Cinema]