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Manoj Bajpayee, Apurva Asrani remember author Saleem Kidwai: ‘His work for India’s LGBTQ is unparalleled’

Actors, writers and LGBTQ activists paid tributes to writer-historian Saleem Kidwai who passed away on Monday.

By: Entertainment Desk | New Delhi |
August 30, 2021 4:26:59 pm
manoj bajpayee apurva asrani aligarh saleem kidwaiManoj Bajpayee and Apurva Asrani have collaborated in Aligarh. (Photos: Wikimedia Commons, Express Archives, Instagram)

Several B-town stars mourned the demise of author and gay rights activist Saleem Kidwai on Monday. These included actors Manoj Bajpayee and Danish Hussain, and screenwriter Apurva Asrani. Saleem Kidwai passed away in his hometown Lucknow. The news was shared on Twitter by author Rana Safvi.

Actor Manoj Bajpayee tweeted, “Rest in peace Salim sahab. A gentle soul and a great scholar!! Our professor of medieval india at Ramjas college !!!” He quoted filmmaker-writer Paromita Vohra’s tweet that read, “#SaleemKidwai – gentle, generous, affectionate, humorous and capacious. Heartbroken at his passing.”

Manoj played a gay man fighting for his rights in Hansal Mehta-directed award winning film Aligarh. Its writer Apurva Asrani, an LGBTQ activist remembers Kidwai for helping him during the scripting of Aligarh. He tweeted, “We have lost a great historian & academic whose work for India’s LGBTQ is unparalleled. #SaleemKidwai came out publicly when few dared to, and had co-authored the pioneering ‘Same-Sex Love in India’. I am eternally grateful for his insights during the writing of #Aligarh. RIP.”

Actor and theatre artiste Danish Hussain wrote, “Completely heartbreaking. He helped @vidyasings & I generously when we were preparing #Akhtari. Otherwise also a brilliant historian, a generous friend, & a storyteller par excellence. #SaleemKidwai you will be dearly missed.”

Saleem Kidwai was also a medieval historian and a translator, who worked as a professor of history at Ramjas College, University of Delhi until 1993, after which he became an independent scholar.

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