Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad's comments on homosexuality have not gone down well with several Bollywood personalities, who have criticised his "regressive" stand on the issue.
The health minister had on Monday described homosexuality as a 'disease' and regretted that despite being 'unnatural', it now afflicts a substantial number of people in India.
"Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad needs urgent counseling for his regressive statement. His "unnatural" stand is dangerous for healthy democracy. Its because of these regressive people the largest democracy in the world deprives the largest number of sexual minorities their democratic rights," filmmaker Onir, who has dealt on subjects like AIDS and same-sex relationships in his film My Brother Nikhil and I Am, said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
Actress Celina Jaitly, who is a supporter of the rights and equality of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community and supports the gay rights movement in India, said, "I m shocked to hear that our health minister would make a statement about homosexuality calling it a "disease"… WHO does not think so Sir!."
"Dear honourable Mr health minister, the World Health Organization (WHO) removed homosexuality from its list of diseases in 1990," Celina said.
Filmmaker Tarun Mansukhani said, "Just woke up to read the astonishing comments made by our Union health minister, Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad, who claims Homosexuality is a disease!! (Speechless...Abusive...ROFL...Abusive again....Pensive.)"
Actress Shahana Goswami tweeted, "How can we have a health minister who says gay sex is a disease?? My take on gay sex is that it is a personal choice made by people that is no one else's business and affects nothing else they do!"
"Just as no 1 thinks u're diseased to be with an older woman, or a much younger man, or sum 1 physically challenged, this is NOT a disease! Its a personal preference that may seem unusual to u because of ur conditioning. But pls don't make factually incorrect statements about it," she said.