Two new promos have been released for the 3rd episode of Season 3 of Satyamev Jayate. In the first promo we see a man, slightly effeminate, talking about dating in Ajmer being different than dating in Mumbai. Aamir pauses, laughs and then asks, “ek min, Mumbai kaise hota hai pehele yeh bataiye”
The second promo features a person, presumably female because we see long hair but we don’t get to see the face, talking about her realization that her identity was not the same as perceived by people, and how she used to feel like she was in a jail, every minute every second.
I am trying to guess what the topic could be? It cannot possibly be homosexuality can it? Aamir is not that brave yet. Or is he?
With the BJP government in power, which has made it very clear that they are in support of Section 377 of the IPC because, as Rajnath Singh said, “homosexuality is an unnatural act and cannot be supported,” would Aamir take up the issue of LGBT rights? Would he risk being known as someone who is trying to pollute the great Indian culture which never knew this thing called homosexuality until the British or Muslim or some other foreigner brought this western culture to this country? Would he risk being known as the person responsible for polluting young minds and instigating to follow western culture? Would he risk inviting more flak from the right wing fanatics and Sanghis who are busy spreading a smear campaign against the show and men rights activists who are already upset with him for taking up too many women related issues by doing another episode on gender, identity and equality?
Homosexuality still remains the most sensitive topic for the middle class Indians, particularly the self-appointed custodians of Indian culture. Recently Supreme Court recognized transgender as the third gender. Gender dysphoria (the feeling of being trapped in a wrong body) is recognized as a medical problem and sex change has begun to be accepted as a solution to this problem. But homosexuality is still seen as a life style choice that goes against our culture. The issue of homosexuality en-compasses the issues of sexual empowerment of transgender people, people with gender dysphoria, and or any other set of consenting adults who do not identify with hetronormativity. How can we accept these identities without accepting their sexual choices – the way they make love and to whom?
Would Aamir be able to take up these questions and for once establish this on national television that debate around homosexuality is about gender identity, not a fashion or lifestyle choice.
Whether Aamir would be brave enough or not, we would have to wait and watch, this Sunday, 19th October 2014, 11 pm on Star Plus and DD National.
My articles on LGBT issues here