Bollywood celebrities such as Karan Johar and Hansal Mehta welcomed the Supreme Court's judgement Thursday decriminalising consensual gay sex, calling it a historic victory for equal rights and a proud moment for the country.
A five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court unanimously decriminalised part of the 158-year-old colonial law under Section 377 of the IPC which criminalises consensual unnatural sex.
The bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, struck down Section 377 as being violative of the right to equality.
Director Hansal Mehta, who made "Aligarh", a true-life inspired film about in Aligarh Muslim University professor Ramchandra Siras, who faced discrimination for being gay, called the verdict a "new beginning".
"A new beginning. The law is gone. The Supreme Court has done what parliament failed to do. Now it's time for attitudes to change. Let's rejoice but let us also reflect. This is a new beginning. #Sec377verdict," he tweeted.
Filmmaker Karan Johar also hailed the verdict.
"Historical judgment!!!! So proud today! Decriminalising homosexuality and abolishing #Section377 is a huge thumbs up for humanity and equal rights! The country gets its oxygen back!," he wrote on Twitter.
Actor Arjun Kapoor said, "Sanity prevails for once we can believe we have some sensible decision makers and lawmakers available to this generation. #Section377 gone with the wind."
Actor Sonam Kapoor said she was tears of joy for the LGBTQI community. "One day there won't be any labels and we will all live in utopia," she added.
"Aligarh" scriptwriter Apurva Asrani said it has taken 71 years for the community to find its freedom but their voice can no longer be suppressed.
"At the stroke of the mid-day hour, as the conscience of many slept, India’s LGBTQ awoke to light & freedom. This moment came 71 years too late history, 71 yrs after our brethren attained freedom; but the soul of a community, long suppressed, has found utterance. Congratulations!," Asrani said.
Actor Swara Bhaskar said the verdict showed that popular morality cannot suppress constitutional rights.
"Yayeee!! Good on you Hon'ble #SupremeCourt & thank you! I hope the citizens of #India are listening! Majoritarian views and popular morality cannot dictate constitutional rights. We have to vanquish prejudice, embrace inclusion and ensure equal rights," she wrote.
Actor Nimrat Kaur wrote on Twitter, "RIP #Section377. Happy birthday 2018 !! Equal love. Equal lives. Proud Indian today."
Farhan Akhtar said the verdict was "about time".
"Bye bye 377. Thank you #SupremeCourt #abouttime #nomorediscrimination #loveislove @MardOfficial," he tweeted.
Actor Ayushmann Khurrana also celebrated the death of Section 377.
"The new sunshine of this day is that of a progressive India. Love all!" he said.
Actor Kalki Koechlin wrote, "So happy today, thank goodness for the rainbow (and all the lawyers that helped put it there!)," she wrote.