Maryada…Lekin Kab Tak?(MLKT), Sounds typically like our society’s voice against Homosexuals where almost 67% of people who took a poll felt Homosexuality is “Morally Unacceptable”. But it is the first ever television show in India that had a gay storyline! MLKT was based on the international hit series ‘Desperate Housewives’. And it’s not new for an international hit series to be changed and remade for Indian television, but keeping up with the base characters as the originals is very hard since our country is all about Families and Society and Cultural Values! At least that’s how we Indians like to show out.
Anil Kapoor, who recently gave a hit with his adaptation of the international version of the hit TV series ‘24’, is in for a real fight with the stringent censorship that exists in Indian TV and films! No he is not adding some ‘spice’ to the show but planning to remake another American Sitcom for Indian television, which is a Golden Globe and Multiple-Emmy- Winning, one of the top rated shows, “Modern Family”.
“Surprise!!” remember the screeching voice of Cam? Now imagine that in Indian Television. Yet Kapoor is very strong in keeping his priorities straight and is ready to fight it out with Indian censorship board in bringing homosexuality – something that’s largely ignored or treated condescendingly on Indian TV and films- to the mainstream and thus break the stigma surrounding it. The show Modern Family has very well written and unique characters which are not stereotypical, hence it has been credited that it is one of the shows that ‘Normalised’ homosexuality in the mainstream television. And Kapoor is keen to retain that element in the adaptation. The actor told Huffington Post, “That is the whole point. I honestly won’t do Modern Family if the same-sex couple were to be eliminated,”.
At the Kashish Film Festival, the actor’s daughter, Sonam had said, “Most of my fans are either straight women, gay men or lesbians. If they support me, I’ve got to support them. In the years to come, I hope this stops being a LGBT film festival and just becomes a regular film festival. Hopefully, one day there won’t be any labels.”
There are many Bollywood stars who are pro-gay, yet even the biggest film makers like Karan Johar had trouble roping in actors to depict a closeted- gay character for his movie ‘Kapoor and Sons’, As many as five leading stars, including Hrithik Roshan, Shahid Kapoor, and Farhan Akhtar, reportedly rejected the part. This just goes to show that Indian entertainment industry is notoriously Homophobic.
Indian television is filled with all the scheming relatives and villainess, shape changing women, even the submissive women who would go through all the ordeals for her family’s sake, basically WOMEN and their life, may be even the Men in their life and how they support the women to rise up and achieve despite the struggles and blockades society presents them. It would be a wonderful place to start about homosexuality in our society by introducing it to our mothers and grandmothers and aunts and sisters, since they make up the actual family values men boast to uphold.
Mr.Kapoor said, “We’ve already started planning how the first season will roll. In the next few months, the writing process shall actively begin and rest assured, the show will live up to its American counterpart in all aspects,” adding, “Indian TV needs a progressive show like that, it absolutely does.”
If the average Indian television viewer laps up Kapoor’s show, then we would have a long running show featuring gay couple in the right light. A television show has more impact on our society than a movie and it would really bring in a wave of change in our society’s biased opinions about homosexuality.
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