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PROJECTION OF PEOPLE WITH ALTERNATIVE SEXUALITY IN INDIAN CINEMA

RESEARCH PROPOSAL

Submitted by RIYA SINGH

JOURNALISM HONORS III-YR LADY SHRI RAM COLLEGE FOR WOMEN

INTRODUCTION

ALTERNATIVE SEXUALITY is referred to people who are either biologically different from the general universally accepted genders : male or female or have sexual preferences different from the two universally accepted genders. An insensitive and ignorant society labels them eunuchs, hermaphrodites, kojja , ali, ombathu, and so on. But they prefer the terms hijra, kothi, jogappa, panthi, mangalamukhi, gay, lesbian, intersex, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, etc. Often ostracized by their loved ones for daring to be open and different, they are among society's most marginalized and traditionally excluded. Further, the state and its representatives harass and discriminate against them denying them fundamental rights and benefits like housing, education, employment, healthcare, identity cards. However, for over a decade, the sexual minority community has been demanding humane and dignified treatment and basic entitlements. Additionally, alternate sexual persons have been expressing themselves creatively through pride marches, films, photo exhibitions and the performing arts.

Alternative forms of sexuality would mean anything not heterosexual.

Homosexual Bisexual Transsexual Lesbian Gays Transgender

BIOLOGICAL DIFFERENCE:

INTERSEX:
Intersex, in humans and other animals, is the presence of intermediate or atypical identifiable as female or male. Other people have sex chromosomes that are different from the usual XX (female) or XY (male).

TRANSGENDER/TRANSEXUAL:
combinations of physical features that usually distinguish female from male. Some people are born with external sex organs that are not easily A person whose identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female gender roles, but combines or moves between these. People who were assigned a sex, usually at birth and based on their genitals, but who feel that this is a false or incomplete description of themselves. Non-identification with, or nonpresentation as, the sex (and assumed gender) one was assigned at birth People who identify as transgender or transsexual are usually people who are born with typical male or female anatomies but feel as though theyve been born into the wrong body. For example, a person who identifies as transgender or transsexual may have typical female anatomy but feel like a male and seek to become male by taking hormones or electing to have sex reassignment surgeries.

SEXUAL PREFERENCE

GAYS : their sexual preference is a male LESBIAN : their sexual preference is a female BISEXUALS :they can prefer male as well as female There has been no survey till now which can reveal the actual percentage of people with alternative sexuality as large number of people hide their sexuality and dont come out openly because of the fear of discrimination and marginalisation.

STATUS: Polical,Cultural,social and economic


Hijras are often encountered on streets, trains, and other public places demanding money from people. Hijras also perform religious ceremonies at weddings and at the birth of male babies, involving music, singing, and dancing. These are intended to bring good luck and fertility. Although hijras are most often uninvited, the host usually pays the hijras a fee. .They are often ostracized by their loved ones for daring to be open and different, they are

among society's most marginalized and traditionally excluded. Further, the state and its representatives harass and discriminate against them denying them fundamental rights and benefits like housing, education, employment, healthcare, identity cards. Most hijras live at the margins of society with very low status; the very word "hijra" is sometimes used in a derogatory manner. Few employment opportunities are available to hijras. Many get their income from performing at ceremonies, begging, or sex workan occupation of eunuchs also recorded in premodern times. Violence against hijras, especially hijra sex workers, is often brutal, and occurs in public spaces, police stations, prisons, and their homes.As with transgender people in most of the world, they face extreme discrimination in health, housing, education, employment, immigration, law, and any bureaucracy that is unable to place them into male or female gender categories.Many a times they are denied the right of voting. The interaction between general public and people with alternative sexuality is very least or you can say there is zero interaction between them. Media is the only medium through which a person or the masses can get to know these people and different aspects of their lives. Whatever knowledge is available out in the world about them and their life is mostly spread by the different mediums of media.Media has played a great role in projecting them,may it be positive or negative. Media helps in creating awareness and also in creating public opinions . Large amount of masses create opinions about these people by what they see or read in media as most of the people would not get a chance to interact with them face to face

RATIONALE OF THE STUDY


There are a large number of people with alternative sexuality in India are deprived of happy and comfortable homes, are neglected, destitute, abandoned and marginalized without any means for subsistence. The State has made no attempts to take care of such people to protect them from violence, exploitation and abuse. These people have been denied true place in society, government has failed in giving them their due place in the society. Media plays an important role in shaping the perspective of people. Since these people are part of our society , the spread of awareness about them majorly depends on efficiency of the media . It becomes important to study the (positive and negative) projections by media. The present work aims at studying this aspect. In our country we talk about women education and empowerment, child development ,education, eradication of untouchability, sex education. Everyone is fighting for rights, human rights, labour rights, animal rights . Media is a very powerful medium which is why it is important to study. It is important to find out medias inclination towards bringing this issue into light .

There have been various movies made on their lives. Hijras have been on screen in Indian cinema since its inception, historically as comic relief. A notable turning point occurred in 1974 when real hijras appeared in a song and dance sequence in Kunwaara Baap ("The Unmarried Father"). There are also hijras in the Hindi movie Amar Akbar Anthony (1977). They accompany one of the heroes, Akbar (Rishi Kapoor), in a song entitled "Tayyab Ali Pyar Ka Dushman" ("Tayyab Ali, the Enemy of Love"). One of the first sympathetic portrayals was in Mani Ratnam's Bombay (1995). 1997's Tamanna starred male actor Paresh Rawal in a central role as Tiku, a hijra who raises a young orphan. Pooja Bhatt produced and also starred in the movie, with her father Mahesh Bhatt co-writing and directing. A hijra (played by Raghubir Yadav), has taken to profession in introducing the widows of Varanasi, another group of down-trodden outcasts, to prostitution (the film resulted in high controversy). There is a brief appearance in the 2004 Gurinder Chadha film Bride & Prejudice, with hijras singing to a bride-to-be in the marketplace. There's also a loose reference in Deepha Mehta's Bollywood/Hollywood in the guise of Rocky or Rokini. Deepa Mehta's Water also features a hijra character by the name of Gulabi.

In the 2000 Tamil film, Appu directed by Vasanth, the antagonist is a hijra. The film features the hijra running a brothel and the role is played by Prakash Raj. This was a remake of the Hindi film Sadak, in which the character of the brothel owner was famously played by Sadashiv Amrapurkar, with the name (in the movie) "Maharani."

In 2005, a fiction feature film titled Shabnam Mausi was made on the life of a eunuch politician of the same name (see Shabnam Mausi). It was directed by Yogesh Bharadwaj, and the title role was played by Ashutosh Rana.

In Soorma Bhopali, Jagdeep encounters a troupe of hijras on his arrival in Bombay. The leader of this pack is also played by Jagdeep himself.

In Anil Kapoor's Nayak, Johnny Lever, who plays the role of the hero's assistant, gets beaten up by hijras, when he is caught calling them "hijra" (he is in habit of calling almost everyone who bothers him by this pejorative and no one cares much, except this once ironically, as the addressees are literally what he is calling them.)

The 1992 film Immaculate Conception by Jamil Dehlavi is based upon the culture-clash between a western Jewish couple seeking fertility at a Karachi shrine known to be blessed by a sufi-fakir called Gulab Shah and the group of Pakistani eunuchs who guard it. Bollywood has become quite apt in portraying homosexuality in films. Its no more a taboo, but the reflections sometimes become stereotypical. So while My Brother Nikhil portrayed sensitively the angst of the lead character with alternate sexuality, Dostana may gay films look ultra cool. So, while Bollywood is coming out of the closet with subjects like homosexuality, the treatment and execution needs to be much more sensitive and objective. So, here are 5 movies which deal with subject of homosexuality in a new and better way.Fire- Deepa Mehtas Fire was the first movie to show homosexuality in an explicit manner in mainstream cinema. The portrayal was so powerful that the movie had already set a platform for mobilization and freedom of speech regarding such sensitive issues.Dunno YNa Jaane Kyun-This movie is a brave attempt to portray homosexuality onscreen which narrates the plight of homosexuals who stay in a rigid and closet. It was a first big budget film with gay sex scenes which also showed the bitter reality surrounding such issues.I cant think straight- This film deals with homosexuality in upper class muslim family and how they come to terms with this sensitive issue. The treatment is fresh and highly provocative which clearly shows the cultural complexities.Memories in March- This film deals homosexuality in a new way and show how a bereaved mother and the deceased sons male lover unite in grief. The film also questions the hierarchy of grief.I am- Onirs I am just not deals with homosexuality but also deals with identity crisis. Its a portrayal of individuals struggle to find their unknown identity.

OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY


The objective is to study the role of Indian cinema in projecting the lives of people with alternative sexuality and the issues they are dealing with .And analysis what role media has played till now in portraying them. Analysing whether movies have projected their positive image or negative image. And till what extent media managed to project their real life on screen and what it failed at. And also how Indian movies helped the general public to create opinions about people with alternative sexuality.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What are the types and nature of roles given in indian cinema.Quality of roles and length of the role? 2. Reflection of various issues of their lives? 3. What are the impacts created by such movies which project their lives on public opinion? 4. How do people with alternative sexuality perceive the role portrayed in the movies?

5. What according to them is lacking in the movies which project their lives and how reality differs from what is reflected on screen? 6. What according to them is lacking in the movies made on their lives? 7. Various suggestions by people with alternative sexuality which could be incorporated in the movies which can help in portraying them more accurately.

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
Design: The study can be categorized as exploratory in nature. Scope of the study The scope of the study covers the national capital of the country, Delhi. The study would include six Bollywood movies projecting. It would also include a sample of the people with alternative sexuality and their families. Content analysis Qualitative analysis Comparative analysis Questionare Field work

Sampling Unit The sampling unit for the purpose of the study is: i. Six Indian movies projecting people with alternative sexuality

ii. people with alternative sexuality and their family iii. straight people belonging to different socio-economic strata Sample Size i. Six movies

ii. A total of 40 people with alternative sexuality and their families iii. 100 straight people from various backgrounds

Tools for Data Collection

The data collected for the study will be from primary and secondary sources: Primary source: interview with straight and people with alternative sexuality Secondary source: Cinema (analysis of six movies)

Data Analysis
The data will be entered in MS Excel to be used for analyzing the data. The researcher shall primarily be relying on frequency tabulations for analysis of primary data.

CHAPTERISATION
1. 2. 3. Introduction Review of literature Status of people with alternative sexuality

4. *** (* could not think of the name and categorize what section would come where) 5. 6. 7. 8. ******* Data analysis and discussion Findings and conclusion biblography