Befikre's 'gay kiss' cut: Labon Ka Karobar's okay for everyone, but not same sex couples

Aniruddha Mahale

Dec 14, 2016 16:45:37 IST

When Befikre released its catchy ‘Labon Ka Karobar’ as a promotion a couple of months ago, it went viral — just like most things starring Ranveer Singh do.

However, unlike all his other snazzy flings with the Internet, this particular one had a legitimate message. It was a celebration of diversity, showing couples belonging to different sexual orientations, age, race and personalities kissing on Parisian sidewalks (combining two of my favourite things, but obviously). The song made lovers blush and mothers sigh, it made teenage girls dream elaborate dreams and political goons turn red with shame — in short, it did exactly what viral videos were supposed to do.

Befikres gay kiss cut: Labon Ka Karobars okay for everyone, but not same sex couples

Ranveer Singh and Vaani Kapoor in a scene from 'Befikre'

However, people noticed an almost blink-and-you’ll-miss-it change when the movie released a week ago, as they flocked their way to the theatres for their brief love affair with Paris (and a very good-looking lead couple). The gay kisses from the song were mysteriously gone, just like that charming boy from the bar who never calls back after the first date.

When questions ultimately wheedled their way to the Central Board of Film Certification chief Pahlaj Nihalani, he admitted that he’d gotten them removed. His reason?

He thought that gay kissing 'would not be acceptable to all viewers'. (I find eve teasing morally unacceptable, but we still have had scores of mainstream heroes who have wooed their way into their lead heroine’s hearts being woefully persistent on film.)

While Mr Nihalani is okay with letting kids watch Ranveer Singh gyrate in his flimsy red briefs (side note: not that I am complaining, a gyrating Ranveer Singh is the best kind of Ranveer Singh there is), it’s something as harmless as a kiss (another side note: unless it’s a kiss that causes Herpes, everybody should be bothered by Herpes)  that bothers him enough to take such an unnecessary step. The song ironically celebrates the fact that a kiss has no boundaries.

In India, it sadly does — and it’s called the Censor Board.

The more you suppress something, the more you let people believe that it’s not right — whether it’s a mere gay kiss, your child’s sexuality or the entire LGBT community’s rights. A quick question: does brushing it all under a hypothetical carpet and pretending that it doesn’t exist make it any less real than it actually is?

That’s one giant lump you can’t help but notice. Gay men and women are everywhere, in all shapes and sizes — they are writers, doctors, accountants, filmmakers, peons, farmers, brothers, aunts and even second cousins. And every time something LGBT is dismissed, you dismiss each and every one of us.

Mr Nihalani is the personification of everything that is wrong with section 377 (which is everything), which isn’t surprising. We are as used to the Censor Board’s regression towards the LGBT community as we are to the fact that one will always run into an ex at the ZARA sale — it’s a given. But then again, if the chief of the CBFC can chop off parts from Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, which in all probability is a modern day Disney fairytale on steroids, then he can do anything.

But there’s a silver lining somewhere.

While the censors might have a vice grip on what makes it to our theaters and television sets, the internet is still a free space for all of us to enjoy. I’d recommend heading over to the dozens of sites that posted the uncensored song soon after — and help break boundaries and narrow mindsets.

After all, what good is a boundary when there’s no one left to bind?

Now how about sharing this and showing it some love, before they ban this too.

Watch the song video here.

Updated Date: Dec 14, 2016 17:13:38 IST