Friday September 21, 2018

Advertising in India, challenging societal attitude towards homosexuality

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image courtesy- india.com

By NewsGram Staff Writer

As India is still ailing with strong prejudices against homosexuality, the brand Anouk has recently come up with an advertisement, featuring a lesbian couple. The ad challenges the prejudiced Indian society, which obliges all men and women to have relationship with members of the opposite sex.

The Anouk ad, is titled as ‘The Visit’ and is a part of the brand’s ‘Bold is Beautiful’ series.  It shows the anxiety of a lesbian couple before meeting the parents of one of the partners.

The ad gives a strong message of coming to terms with one’s identity and embracing it, despite the shackles of regressive societal norms.

“We tried to avoid the stereotypes associated with gay people. There was no one woman looking more masculine or feminine in the film. We tried to give it a candid feel like it is any other couple being apprehensive about meeting the parents,” says Avishek Ghosh, co-partner of Hectic Content, the production house that made the film, told Times of India.

The ad has gone viral and might influence the Indian society to finally acknowledge gay couples in the mainstream media.

In a society where homosexuality is criminalized, the gay couples don’t really get to be part of the mainstream media especially in commercial advertisements. There has never been ample depiction or support to the LGBT rights in Indian commercials.

Ads supporting LGBT community in the past

However in December 2013, when the Supreme Court upheld Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalized homosexuality and ruled that gay sex was illegal, the commercial world showed their support to the LGBT community. They came up with innovative advertisements, which were widely appreciated.

Here are some of them:

The Amul girl was seen giving farewell to the ‘Freedom of Choice’.

freedom of choice
image cortesy- huffingpost.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earlier in 2009, Amul celebrated the decriminalization of gay sex by Delhi High Court through this ad:

out of closet
image courtesy- deccanchronicle.com

In 2011, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Health Minister at that time, had described homosexuality as a disease. Once again Amul, which never deters from commenting on social issues, came up with this ad:

health minster

Tanishq showed its support to gay rights through this ad:

1934158
image courtesy- dnaindia.com

Fastrack took the phrase ‘coming out of closet’ too literally and showed in its ad, two women stumbling out of a pink cupboard, zipping pants and skirts and walking off in opposite directions.

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image courtesy- elle.in

The ad was a part of Fastrack’s ‘Move On’ campaign.

move on
image courtesy- firstpost.com

Usually in India the commercial brands cringe away from even mentioning this sensitive issue, lest they get entrapped into some controversy.

It’s really appreciative that the big brands these days are blazing the trail to pinpoint the issue of homosexuality. Earlier hardly any commercials committed themselves to the LGBT community.

It’s essential that the advertisements voicing the issue of homosexuality, without stirring any controversy, should pave a way for the often ‘shunned’ homosexual community, into the popular culture.

 

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Video- India Scraps Law Criminalizing Homosexuality

The government decriminalising homosexuality only makes the people more hopeful for the Indian youth to finally realise the potential that they have.

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Homosexuality, India
In separate but unanimous verdicts, a five-judge Constitution Bench struck down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as unconstitutional. Pixabay

By Vishvi Gupta

Almost 2.5 Billion people in India, took a huge sigh of relief as the Indian government, on the Sixth of September decriminalised and scrapped the article that condones homosexuality.

The law was first put in the constitution by the Britishers, under the Buggery Act of 1533 and it has continued to exist even after almost 400 years later. The law dictated and criminalised sexual activities ‘against the order of nature’. While the britishers themselves scrapped the law in early 1980’s, the Indian youth has been haunted by this law.

India has always been a diverse country, and a very gender fluid one. Only with the invasion of outsiders, did it matter who you lay with. India’s fluidity was always seen as a savage and dirty concept.It didnt matter whether you were a man, a woman or a trans. Love, in India always won.

It is still considered a huge win for, not just the youth, but everyone in India, to finally try and ‘normalise’ the homosexual instincts and not struggle on daily basis. The biggest problem that the youth has had to face is not figuring out their sexual orientation but rather the consequences they would hence have to face in the hands of the society and conservative elders.

Anyway, Acceptance is the first step towards the onset of change, and the government decriminalising homosexuality only makes the people more hopeful for the Indian youth to finally realise the potential that they have and take more steps that will make India, the great nation it deserves to be.