The second episode of ‘Satyamev Jayate’ has made Harish Iyer a familiar name for Indians. The show was based on some striking facts about the issue of child sexual abuse. Harish Iyer was invited to the show where he bravely shared the trauma of being abused at the age of seven years.However, Harish is not just a survivor; he also works as gay rights activist, animal rights activist, and environmentalist. The invitation to Aamir Khan’s show got him a surprise gift too. Iyer met his favourite Bollywood actress Sridevi on the show. Prior to this, he confessed on the show that it was his pet dog and Bollywood that helped him in fighting his sufferings.His life story and courage had inspired the National Award winner filmmaker Onir to include his story in ‘I Am’,”The story ‘I Am Abhimanyu’ is partly based on Harish Iyer and partly on Ganesh Nallari. Both the stories were inspirational and full of emotions.”
“In a country where normally nobody talks about child sexual abuse, there somebody is talking about such things; to me it’s more important. In spite of looking at the negative side of any side we should focus more on the positive side. I interact with both of them it always horrifies me how such kind of experience affect a grown up person. Whenever I see Harish on television I see a child who was traumatised, who deserved a better childhood. Today they are working towards making people aware; they are opening up a whole new avenue,” adds Onir.
Harish Iyer may look a shy person with dimpled cheeks but his courage is commendable. Harish talks about the show,”Satyamev Jayate was a fantastic experience. In fact, my journey, if you really ask me then one of the best shows that I have worked for is ‘Zindagi Live’. I opened up there, then I appeared on other shows also. The focus of ‘Satyamev Jayate’ was on child sexual abuse, so I went there.”
‘Amen’ is the other film based on Iyer’s experiences. He also has a biography, but Iyer speaks for change,”I do speak about a lot of causes, homosexuality is one of them. I am gay and a survivor of child sexual abuse. I am associated with this NGO Animal Angel where I work for animal rights. I have walked the gay parade many times. I also speak for child sexual abuse because I firmly believe there is this misconception that child sexual abuse and homosexuality are related. I am not gay because I was abused.”
He replies with another question when you ask him about his sexual realization,”How do people realise that they are straight? Nothing happens to them, they just realise, it’s a natural process. I couldn’t perform with someone of the opposite sex and that’s it.”He might look cool, calm and composed on ‘Satyamev Jayate’, but the pain he has undergone could only be imagined.