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

Life[edit]

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.

Activism[edit]

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]

Death[edit]

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.

Filmography[edit]

  • 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]

References[edit]

  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. ^ wordpress.com
  9. ^ Court Document
  10. ^ [1][Digital Talkies Film Festival on Zee Cinema]