9th November 2020

How Invested Is Akshay Kumar In The Transgender Community?

When  the  very  lovely Anya Taylor-Joy  came on  board,  the  chess board in The  Queen’s Gambit she made sure she  was well-prepared. She not only  learnt  chess from scratch,she also met up with the extraordinary  little girl who played her character as a  child, and spent time with her .

 Be  honest. How many Indian actors spend  time with their co-stars who  play  the same character in a separate  part  of  the  film? How many Bollywood actors are invested in a role beyond the shooting and promotion of  a film? I know of innumerable  actors who  formed  ostensible lifelong bonds  with  their co-stars during the shooting and then never met them after  the film was  released.

Also Read:  Right-Wing Factions Outraged By Hindu-Muslim Kiss

Waqt kahan hai, yaar! I remember  a major superstar  shooting with a  canine actor, gushing, “He(the canine) and I have become so attached I am  planning to adopt him after the shooting.”

 Nothing was heard  of  the canine after the  film’s promotions. In fact  I brazenly asked the superstar  about the canine. He made me feel stupid for asking by replying, ‘How would I know?’

How,indeed.

This  attitude of  switch-on-switch-off emotional ties can be very  disruptive  for those not used  to  it. The very  beautiful Nargis Fakhri thought she had made friends for life with her debutantdirector Imtiaz Ali and  leading man Ranbir  Kapoor during Rockstar because  that’s what they  told her. She  couldn’t come to terms  with the  fact that they didn’t mean it.

Also Read:  Swara Bhaskar On Love Jihad & The Growing Intolerance

 This is  why I  am worried  about  what  celebrity transgender activist Laxmi Narayan Tripathymay  have construed from Akshay Kumar’s  warm embraces.  To her , this is possibly a great way for the transgender community to  get attention. But has she seen Laxmmi(nee Bomb)? Is it really doing  any service to  the transgender community? 

I’ve seen the  orginal Kanchana in Tamil  that came 9 years ago. It portrayed  the  transgender  ‘hero’(played  by  the director  Raghava Lawrence)  as a shrill, shrieking banshee with serious anger-management  issues.  The  character  was  no more than a pretext to generate eerie laughter.

  I  don’t see  the  Hindi remake being any different. I hope  I am wrong. I’d love to believe that Akshay Kumar’s  empathy  for  the  transgender community does not extend  to only one  film. Past records show Bollywood to be extremely insensitive to the  LGBT community.  Why should it be any different  this time?

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