The typical Bollywood film follows a distinctive story line in which the daring young man takes care of the bad guys and is rewarded with love of the decent young beautiful girl. In a sense, Bollywood is where Hollywood used to be in the wondrous days of the 1950 when heterosexual love was the only love in town. Suddenly, a slight cloud is appearing over the horizon in the film industry’s latest offering, “Dostana”(friendship), a film about two men who pretend to be a couple in which homosexuality(which is illegal in prudish, religious India) is a running theme. Ashok Row Kavi, a leading gay activist in India believes the film offers interesting possibilities. “I think the film does a lot for gays in a country where the word homosexual does not even exist for many people.”
As one reviews the history of gay rights in the United States, a role in changing attitudes stemmed from the movie and television industries which introduced gay and lesbian characters years before any politician would dare to even suggest any sort of concern for gay and lesbian rights. Perhaps, this first film to hint at homosexuality will herald in additional movie and television situations which become educating forces in altering traditional views.