Indian censors will allow music video with vaguely gay scene to be shown on TV

friends of linger
The band's front-man wrote, "Women were commoditised. Gay men were mocked at" in mainstream Indian media. Photo: Screenshot

An appeals tribunal in India has allowed a music video to be shown on TV that shows a love story between two men.

Censors in India originally gave the music video for “Miss You” by the band Friends of Linger an “A certificate,” meaning that it was banned from television in India because of its content. They focused on a ten second scene in which the two men in the video appear on a bed only in shorts – not engaging in sexual activity – calling it “intimate.”

Upon appeal, the A certificate was rescinded. The appeals tribunal said that the video was “relevant” for its content and that the scene on the bed was “intrinsic” to the story.

The band’s front man Sharif Ranganekar wrote in The Wire that the appeals tribunal “turned this tiny song into a moment that could be viewed as a shift in acceptance of ‘gay’ content in mainstream television.”

“As I heard this and felt joyous, I felt a sense of ‘we.’” wrote Ranganekar. “What mattered was that the world of LGBTQs now have a reality that is a precedent that hopefully encourages more of us to chip away – even if painfully – at the otherwise cold and hard institutions that act as ‘guardians’ of society.”

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