Vol VII, Issue 3
Date of Publication: July 23, 2022
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Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui: Bollywood, bioethics, and trans bodies
Art has become a central tool in bioethics discourses across the world and in challenging the ethics of discourse and extending our moral imagination about life and existence. In the last two decades, the Hindi film industry has seen a cavalcade of films that grapple with bioethical issues. From IVF in Good Newwz (2019) to geriatric pregnancy in Badhaai Ho (2018), from surrogacy in Chori Chori Chupke Chupke (2001) to sperm donation in Vicky Donor (2012), there seems to be a fascination with bioethics and medical processes as plot points for Bollywood films. These films provide powerful narratives which can potentially play a role in destigmatising some of these issues, improving public literacy, and initiating debates on hitherto taboo topics. However, the subject matter is often not treated with the required sensitivity or is written with elements of horror and/or comedy, with disastrous effects. Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui has missed the mark by a mile in its representation of a transgender character, in a movie that sought to normalise queer relationships. Bollywood’s treatment of a queer subject made for a cisgender heteronormative audience must be careful and sensitive to the ground realities of the queer community or it risks promoting transphobia and queerphobia, and the consequent disastrous cascading effects on trans/queer rights.
Copyright and license
©Indian Journal of Medical Ethics 2022: Open Access and Distributed under the Creative Commons license ( CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), which permits only non-commercial and non-modified sharing in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.