Indian groups protest at lesbian film

Indian protesters have torn down posters of a Bollywood film about lesbianism, claiming the film insults traditional cultural values.

    Bollywood actors are pushing boundaries of social acceptability

    Activists from the right wing Shiv Sena party have also prevented screenings in the cities of Mumbai, Delhi and Varanasi, claiming the film is culturally regressive.

    Entitled Girlfriend, the movie also upset women's groups on Monday. They claim Girlfriend is nothing but a "pornographic and stereotypical portrayal" of a lesbian relationship.

    A member of women's organisation Forum Against Oppression of Women,(FAOW), Tejal Shah said the film has been made entirely to give pleasure to heterosexual males.

    "All the negative popular myths about lesbians [have] been woven into the storyline, and I think it will antagonise society even further," she said.
     
    Director's take

    The film's Director, Karan Razdan, said the movie was about a woman who becomes a lesbian due to her circumstances rather than her sexual orientation at birth.

    ''I have not made a pro-lesbian film but my film has started a debate about the subject," he said.

    "All the negative popular myths about lesbians [have] been woven into the storyline, and I think it will antagonise society even further"

    Tejal Shah,
    Forum Against Oppression of Women

    "Whether my film generates good or bad publicity, my intention is to start a discussion about this subject, and create an awareness in society."

    "Lesbians should be accepted in society because freedom of sexual preference should be allowed in a free and democratic country," he said.

    Most women's groups like FAOW agree the film has been made solely to titillate, and shows little sensitivity towards the subject.

    But many are wary of standing up to protest against it, because they do not want to be perceived as siding with right-wing parties.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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