Love’s Rite pp 209-224 | Cite as

Aspiring to Union: Twentieth-Century Cinema

  • Ruth Vanita


When I was a feminist activist in Delhi in the 1980s, I looked for and found gay friends who met socially in each others’ houses. One thing that surprised me about this little community was its immersion in Hindi film songs. Every party, small or big, climaxed in individual or group rendition of film songs, mostly romantic numbers from pre-1970s cinema. Film songs are ubiquitous in India. It is nearly impossible to be in a public space or most private spaces without a song drifting in from someone’s radio, TV or player. But since popular cinema, like Indian society in general, is obsessed with heterosexual marriage, and almost every film culminates in weddings or deaths that forestall weddings, I could not understand why gay people were so invested in what seemed to me a heterosexist cultural product.


Female Voice Male Friend Romantic Love Indian Cinema India Today 
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© Ruth Vanita 2005

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  • Ruth Vanita

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