The news that commercial Bollywood indeed has space for a homosexual love story, that too in the near future, has recently ignited sparks of hope for many:
The hope that South Asian society is coming closer to equality.
The hope that the stigma towards homosexuality is ending- regardless of Section 377, the re-criminalisation of homosexuality.
These hopes were recently manifesting through Balaji’s Romil and Juggal, a gay Bollywood love story to be produced by Ekta Kapoor.
However, challenging homophobia and changing society is never without obstacles.
It has been reported that Romil and Juggal has been put “on hold”.
It has also been reported that the plans have been cancelled entirely.
Which statement holds true remains unclear.
According to a source, Balaji CEO Tanuj Garg seems to suggest that the setback is temporary, stating:”A part of the script is going through a creative rewrite.”
However, referring to the Times of India, the film has been scrapped altogether.
TOI stated that the script had apparently been sent to the censor board for approval and a source revealed:
“For Balaji Motion Pictures, it made better sense to get the script approved first, rather than face hurdles later,”
The censor board decided the subject matter to be “sensitive” and “controversial”.
Well homosexuality is a sensitive and controversial matter, hence all the more important to raise awareness on.
Many homosexual persons globally face serious discrimination and for some, being who they are provokes life threatening situations.
Within a South Asian context, some homosexual people are honour killed or are forced to live a life of suppression, sometimes with serious repercussions.
Let’s hope that Romil and Juggal does manifest.
In fact, let’s hope that Romil and Juggal does not only manifest, but manifests as a thought-provoking gay love story, sensitively highlighting why homosexuality is still ignorantly controversial in South Asian society.