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Now That Gay Sex is Decriminalised, Will I Get My Rights? Asks AMU Prof Siras' Partner

Professor Ramchandra Shrinivas Siras and his partner, Irfan, a rickshawallah, met outside the Arts Faculty of the AMU. The two were into a consensual relationship for which they paid a heavy price.

Eram Agha | News18.comEramAgha

Updated:September 6, 2018, 8:37 PM IST
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Now That Gay Sex is Decriminalised, Will I Get My Rights? Asks AMU Prof Siras' Partner
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court order decriminalising gay sex has come eight years too late for Irfan.

Professor Ramchandra Shrinivas Siras, the Aligarh Muslim University professor, ostracised by society and excommunicated by his colleagues and students committed suicide in his two room apartment at Durgavadi in Aligarh.

Professor Ramchandra Shrinivas Siras and his partner, Irfan, a rickshawallah, met outside the Arts Faculty of the AMU. The two were into a consensual relationship for which they paid a heavy price.

“Yes, we were in a relationship,” Irfan says speaking to News18.

“I was his partner. Will I be treated as that after the new verdict? Now that it is decriminalised, will I get my rights as his partner?” Irfan asks on being told of the historic Supreme Court verdict decriminalising consensual gay sex.

Siras was an Indian linguist and author. As the head of the Modern Indian Languages, he specialised in Marathi literature.

The film Aligarh, directed by Hansal Mehta, is a biopic on Siras’s life and his untimely death.

On 8 February 2010, two men forced their way into Siras’ house and found him having sex with another man. On 9 February 2010, Siras was suspended by AMU. On 7 April 2010, Siras was found dead in his apartment in Aligarh.

Recalling the episode eight years later, Irfan says he was harassed and hounded like a criminal. “Out of frustration I set myself on fire but I was saved by my family at the right time. All these years I was vulnerable and subject to biases – people called me gay, or said ‘oh he was with Siras.’”

“He gave me food and we bonded well. We went to fairs as well. That day when the sting happened we were supposed to go for numaish – but our life became a mela – movies have been made, discussions have happened on TV, I feel I have been stripped of everything. Our story was consumed,” said Irfan.

Irfan can hardly make ends meet, and he survives pulling a rickshaw in downtown Aligarh earning Rs 10,000 a month.

Living a life of a recluse, he hardly interacts with anyone now. His wife is a home maker. Father of five grown up daughters, his son died last year.

“I don’t call people home because I don’t want my children to know anything about my past. Also, who likes to visit poor relatives? My children should be insulated from any kind of harassment, I have made sure that they don’t pay any price for my past,” he added.

Irfan continues to attract film makers, writers and scribes. Anita Singh, who is making a documentary on the LGBT Community, will be heading to Aligarh to meet him from Bangalore soon. She told News 18, “I spoke to him, and he seemed broken to me, he feels that if Siras would have been there his condition would not have been so bad.”

After that fateful afternoon in AMU, Irfan has been hiding his face, his address and his name.

All these years later he wants society to recognise him as a partner to Professor Ramchandra Shrinivas Siras.
| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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