Valentine’s Day is a day of love. We do not need a special day to express love for our partners. But we could use the day to accept all forms of love and to show love to the disadvantaged sections of the society.
De-criminalization of homosexuality in India has brought a certain relief to homosexual couples. However, just because it is no more illegal, does not mean it has become acceptable in society. People still find it uncomfortable to accept two individuals of same-sex showing affection towards one another. Parents still pressurize their homosexual children for marriage, not understanding the consequence of it. Many parents who do understand and are more accepting of homosexual couples around them lack understanding if their family member comes out of the closet.
Evidence has suggested that homosexuality has been prevalent in India since ancient times. Sculptures at various temples suggest that sex in all forms has been celebrated in the ancient India. The art and sculptures in Khajuraho depict women in various erotic positions with other women and men displaying their genitals to other men. These sculptures show that the people in ancient times were perhaps more accepting and modern that the society that apparently is considered to be modern.
The intolerance in society today is a significant cause of concern. The way to address it is by enabling people to place themselves in the shoes of an individual from the LGBT community. One way to do this is through films.
Bollywood is an outstanding platform, with more than a billion people across the globe as its audience. Recently the Bollywood community has been picking up films with social messages such as PadMan, Toilet, and so on. Homosexuality was also addressed in films such as Dostana, Bombay Talkies and Kapoor and Sons. But not many mainstream movies have been made to that showed homosexuality in a positive light in the country.
An upcoming film starring Ayushman Khurrana named ‘Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan’, directed by Hitesh Kewalya focuses on same-sex marriage as the central theme.
From the looks of its trailer, it seems to aim at “normalizing” homosexuality through comedy and drama. While it is a shame that efforts need to be made to normalize something as normal as this, wisdom is in accepting the problem graciously and applauding the efforts hoping that one day we would be successful in curbing homophobia from the society and accept love for what it is.