"Fire was released in India in November 1998, over a year after it was internationally released. [...] It was screened for three weeks in the city and the country and ran to full houses. Special women's shows were organised every week in Mumbai. It is without doubt that the film brought the issue of lesbianism into the public domain for discussion. For the first time, lesbianism moved from the grey areas of silence and half-murmurs, to the arena of the 'big' screen. It forced all kinds of people to make public their positions [...]. The film screening was disrupted three weeks after its release by the Mahila Aghadi—the women's wing of the Shiv Sena (a Hindu fundamentalist party). [...] After the initial period of shock, many groups in Mumbai, Delhi, Pune and other parts of the country organised to counter this attack. In many ways, the film acted as a trigger for processes all over the country."
-- Bina Fernandez, N.B. Gomathy
Fernandez, Bina, and N.B. Gomathy "Fire, Sparks, and Smouldering Ashes." In Because I Have a Voice: Queer Politics in India, edited by Gautam Bhan and Arvind Narrain. New Delhi: Yoda Press, 2005. (p. 198)