Manoj Bajpayee, Apurva Asrani remember author Saleem Kidwai on his contribution to LGBTQ community

Several Btown stars mourned the passing of gay rights activist and writer Saleem Kidwai on Monday, including Danish actors Manoj Bajpayee and Hussain, and screenwriter Apurva Asrani. Saleem Kidwai passed away in his hometown of Lucknow, Author Rana Safvi shared the news on Twitter.

Actor Manoj Bajpayee tweeted, “Rest in peace Saleem 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 plays a gay man fighting for his rights in Aligarh, the award-winning film directed by Hansal Mehta. Its writer Apurva Asrani, an LGBTQ activist, recalls Kidwai for helping him with the Aligarh scriptwriting process. 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 artist Danish Hussain wrote, “Completely heartbreaking. He helped @vidyasings & me generously when we were preparing #Akhtari. Otherwise also a brilliant historian, a generous friend, & a storyteller par excellence. #SaleemKidwai you will be dearly missed.”

Salim Kidwai is also a medieval historian and translator who until 1993 worked as a professor of history at Ramjas College in Delhi, after which he became a freelance scholar.

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