Nishit Saran

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Nishit Saran
Born 21 May 1976[1]
New Delhi, India[2]
Died Template:Death date and age[1]
New Delhi, India[2]
Nationality Indian
Other names Nish Saran
Occupation Filmmaker, gay rights activist
Known for Summer in my veins

Nishit "Nish" Saran (21 May 1976 – 23 April 2002) was an Indian gay activist and filmmaker.[1] He is best known for the 1999 documentary film Summer in My Veins which screened at a number of film festivals.[3]

Early life and education

Saran was born and raised in New Delhi to Lieutenant Colonel Raj Saran and Minna (a.k.a. Mina) Saran.[2][4] He completed his education at Army Public School, Dhaula Kuan and scored first on India's Senior Secondary Examination.[2] He had a brother, Mohit.[4]

In 1994 he enrolled to study filmmaking at Harvard University, having received a full scholarship.[5] He was active in Harvard’s Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender and Supporters’ Alliance.[2] In 1996 he was one of 123 sophomores awarded a Detur Book Prize,[6] Harvard's oldest academic honor presented to sophomores for receiving the highest grades during their first year. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa Society.[7] Before Saran graduated summa cum laude in 1998,[5] he was also a teaching fellow for an intermediate film class.[2]


Saran was both an essayist and an activist. In India he campaigned for LGBT rights, lecturing at colleges and contributing news articles, reviews, and essays to a number of Indian newspapers. His writing included the 8 February 2000 The Indian Express piece "My sexuality is your business" attacking Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. Section 377 then included a provision criminalizing same-sex sexual activity that was stricken down in 2009.[8]

His best-known work was his film Summer in my veins, in which he captured his coming out to his mother on film.[9]

Personal life and death

Saran lived in Noida.[4]

Saran was killed in a 2002 car accident caused by a drunk truck driver[10] (a hit-and-run incident[4]) at Lodhi Road near Connaught Place, New Delhi.[10] He was 25 years old. Five people were killed,[4] including Channel V VJ Pooja Mukherjee.[11][10]

Following his death, his mother Minna Saran established the Nishit Saran Foundation.[8] She campaigned for the decriminalization of homosexuality in India, becoming a prominent gay rights activist.


  • Project Flower : A short documentary commissioned by the Centre for AIDS Prevention Studies in San Francisco, about street children in the Nizamuddin area of Delhi.[12][13]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Nish Saran at the Internet Movie Database
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Pasternack, Alex L. (30 April 2002). "Graduate Known For Activist Films Dies". Retrieved 19 July 2014. 
  3. Release info for Summer in My Veins at the Internet Movie Database
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 TNN (25 April 2002). "No more perfect days now". The Times of India. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Biography". Archived from the original on 14 July 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  6. Grenade, Matthew W. (22 January 1996). "Sophomores Awarded Detur Book Prizes". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  7. "Harvard College Phi Beta Kappa". 
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Parents say 377 destroys families". 7 February 2011. 
  9. "Out, Into The Spotlight". The Indian Express. 16 July 1999. Retrieved 2008-09-05. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 "SUMMER in my VEINS- 1999 Documentary short about a Gay Indian coming out to his mother on camera by Nishit Saran", Remains of the Desi blog,, 9 June 2007.
  11. "'I want to celebrate her life'". The Times of India. 25 April 2003. Retrieved 2008-09-05. 
  12. Court Document
  13. Digital Talkies Film Festival, Zee Cinema

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