Bollywood director and talk show host Karan Johar’s autobiography has kicked off a loud debate on being gay in India, writes Sudha G Tilak.

“Everybody knows what my sexual orientation is. I don’t need to scream it out. If I need to spell it out, I won’t only because I live in a country where I could possibly be jailed for saying this. Which is why I Karan Johar will not say the three words that possibly everybody knows about me,” Johar says in the book.

The title of his memoir, An Unsuitable Boy, is a play on A Suitable Boy, the novel by award-winning Indian author Vikram Seth.

Seth has publicly spoken up against a draconian Indian law that criminalises homosexuality. His mother, a former judge and writer, has also written about Seth being gay.

In an interview Seth had said that it was a “sad dereliction of their responsibility” when famous Indians refused to come out and be “role models” for many others who were suffering silently.