Beginning of an era of inclusiveness in Bollywood – Karthikeyan Vasuki Balasubramaniam

Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan (Feb 2020 — Bollywood movie)

As Jawaharlal Nehru (the first Prime Minister of India) once said, the influence of movies in India is greater than the newspapers and books combined. Movies are not only seen as a source of leisure and entertainment but also as a powerful vehicle for culture, education and propaganda. Movies reflect the society, both present and past.

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Movies have a great influence on the lives of people and there are a good number of Indian movies that are produced according to the lives of people.

Historically, Indian movies have shown homosexuality in a much degraded fashion. Growing up, I have watched so many movies across different languages where gay people are being shamed and subjected to humiliation, bullying and violence. In a culture, where no one wants to even hear or speak the words “gay”, “lesbian”, “transgender”, “bisexual”, “intersex”, etc., the growing children and youth are first introduced to LGBTQ through movies, and in a negative way.

After legalization of consensual gay sex by India’s Supreme Court on 6 September 2018, the Indian movie industries (including Bollywood) have started making efforts to include a non-negative representation of LGBTQ in the recent movies.

For the first time, I am hopeful and happy to see a Bollywood movie named “Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan (transl. Extra careful of marriage)” focuses on same-sex marriage will be released in February, 2020. In the last few years there are minor representations of homosexuality in movies. However, this movie will have a positive impact among the society because of the way it represents how homosexuality is as normal as any other sexuality.

I wish this movie gets released without obstacles and sets an example for a positive representation of homosexuality and same-sex marriage among the Indian society.

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