I don’t know why but I am always fascinated by Yash Raj films and Yash Chopra. If you are an Indian, you know how YRF was, a decade ago. It stood for the most glamorous, most mainstream and most conventional films. What’s even more fascinating is that the man, Yash Chopra, who made a lot of films about rich people in rich locations, died of Dengue. I don’t know about you but I am quite fascinated by this.
And today, I read that Yash Raj Films’ youth wing, Y Films, has launched India’s first transgender band. This is not surprising because since many years, YRF has changed. The first big change was the V show ‘Mahi Way’ which talked about an overweight girl who learns to accept her body. That’s not something which happens in Yash Chopra films, right?
Of course, it’s much more easier to launch a transgender band in 2016. There are people who have talked about these issues much before they were accepted. For example: Actors Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das as well as director Deepa Mehta were threatened when they made India’s first lesbian film ‘Fire’ in the year 1998. They even had to seek police protection because of the protests. Even though we have a more open-minded society today (transgenders are slowly getting recognition by the government), India has still a long way to go (homosexuality is a crime). And that’s why YRF must be applauded. It’s true that the audience doesn’t watch conventional stuff anymore (okay, I just remembered Salman Khan’s films) but still, launching a transgender band is not a walk in the park.
Another filmmaker, who usually makes Yash Chopra-like films, is Karan Johar. But he made a gay love story in ‘Bombay Talkies.’ It is heartening to see filmmakers, who were accused of playing ‘safe’ by critics, making such courageous films.
Change is a slow process and a band or a movie cannot change people’s mindsets instantly. But examples like the above are inspiring.