Lesbian film forced off screens

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The Independent Online
A LOW-BUDGET art movie which dares to broach the subject of lesbian love - a topic so taboo that there is no word for it in any Indian language - has been forced off the screens in cinemas across Bombay.

Dozens of supporters of Shiv Sena, the right-wing party which began in Bombay's slums, invaded two cinemas yesterday, surrounding the managers and demanding that Fire in Bombay be pulled.

The protesters claimed that the film, which depicts how a lesbian relationship flowers amid the lies and repressions of a conventional Indian family, "distorts" Indian culture. The film's distributor, Shringar Films, suspended screeningsciting concern for audience safety.

Shiv Sena, implicated in brutal attacks on Muslims in the past, are well- known for their violent tactics.

"We will wait and watch," said Balkrishna Shroff, one of the owners of Shringar Films.