Maharashtra is the land where the social reformer RD Karve gave up a successful academic career and threw himself into the fray fighting for issues like women's reproductive health and family planning. This is the land where visionaries, Mahatma Phule and his wife Savitrabai, started the first school for girls in India. And now, another movement is slowly rocking the homeland - and this time it's the problems that the gay community faces. But instead of campaigns, the revolution is taking place in Marathi movies and plays.
Actor and director Amol Palekar, in his bilingual film Thang (in Marathi) and Quest (in English), has portrayed the complexities of heterosexual and homosexual relationships. He showcases the wife's emotional turmoil when she comes to know that her husband is in a relationship with another man. "In this movie, whether the third person in the couple's life is a man or a woman is not important. All that is important is that their relationship is shattered forever," says Palekar.
But the movement is not a recent one. In 1981, actress Rohini Hattangadi played the role of Sumitra, a lesbian lover in Vijay Tendulkar's Marathi drama, Mitrachi Goshta (A Friend's Story). And this was at a time when gay rights were not even discussed in public. "This play may have been ahead its time, but it was received quite well by the audience. It ran for a long time and we staged it 25 times," recalls Hattangadi. The play dealt with the friendship and love between Sumitra and Nama (played by Ujjwala Jog).
When asked about the future of such movies and plays, Hattangadi says, "The way the Indian cinema is going, I think more and more films on new topics will be encouraged by the audience. If the issue is portrayed interestingly and handled sensitively by the film-maker, people will accept it easily."
In his play The Bath, writer and director Sachin Kundalkar chose to depict the life of male prostitutes. "Even in Marathi theatre and cinema, homosexuals are generally stereotyped," he says. "The makers as well as the critics tag movies based on this theme. If there is an emotional bonding between two males, people often mistake them to be gay. But a film has no gender." His plays, Chotyasha Suteet and Poornaviram, also deal with the topic of homosexuality. "There has been a warm response by the audiences to these plays, and they have been staged in Marathi, Hindi and English," he says.
- Meet monorail's first 3 Indian captains
- Sanjay Dutt wants to move out of Kasab barrack
- Two get bail in Thane building collapse case
- Right-to-pee activists to follow China model, Occupy Men's Toilet
- South African woman held with Rs 13crore contraband
- Glamour girls were the messengers too, and not just WhatsApp
- Missing Hamid Ansari's family writes to Sarabjit's lawyer for help
- Just what the Doctor ordered
- Sanjay Dutt stays up the whole night in jail with old friend
- International Museum Day: 13 Mumbai museums you must visit
- IPL 6: RCB stay in hunt beating CSK by 24 runs in final league game - 5 hours ago
- Bet on it. Your mango is ripened using carbide - 13 hours ago
- Wife's query may fix Ajit Chandila - 18 hours ago
- IPL 6: Kings XI Punjab crush Mumbai Indians by 50 runs to sign off in style - 10 hours ago
- Adam Gilchrist bids adieu to the IPL by taking first wicket in competitive cricket - 6 hours ago
- What mindless fools they have been: International media on Sreesanth, Chandila and Chavan - 5 hours ago
- One more bookie arrested, Sreesanth's laptop, iPad seized in connection with IPL spot-fixing, says Himanshu Roy - 9 hours ago
- Karnataka polls: Siddaramaiah expands Cabinet, 28 Ministers sworn in - 16 hours ago
- Adam Gilchrist demands life bans for 'IPL spot-fixers' if found guilty - 12 hours ago
- Kim Kardashian and baby to join Kanye West on tour - 11 hours ago