Women Lead Pendidikan Seks
April 08, 2016

Series and Music Videos Challenge India's Discriminative Norms

A Mumbai-based film company produces webseries and music videos that challenge discriminative norms and sexist traditions in India.

by Ayunda Nurvitasari

India’s traditional culture is not exactly an exemplary practice of gender equality, and a Mumbai-based film production company brings public attention to the often-taboo gender and cultural issues through a range of webseries and music videos.
In the four-part YouTube series Man’s World, Y Films challenges the country’s sexist norms and discriminative traditions. Aiming  to “deliver kick-ass films of the youth, by the youth, for the youth” to support goal 5 of the United Nations’ Global Goals for Sustainable Development about achieving Gender Equality and empowering all girls and women, everywhere. The series attempts to highlight the problems of gender inequality in India through a simple but intriguing premise: What if the world were flipped the other way around, and women are to treat men the way men have been treating women for generations?
Kiran (starring Gaurav Pandey), a mid-career guy, believes that women’s struggles are highly exaggerated and feminism is unnecessary. He wishes God to turn the world upside down – believing that the world would be so much better once gender roles are switched.
When his wish is granted, we are provided a close look on how gender discrimination happens at home, in the workplace, in the police office – everywhere. In a comedic tone, the series eloquently addresses real and concrete issues, such as wage gap, forced marriage, marital rape, infanticide, gender privilege and many more.
Equally entertaining is their second web-series Bang Baaja Baaraat, which explores the hilarious plot of India’s traditional wedding, highlighting a cultural clash between the bride and groom of contrasting backgrounds. Pawan (Ali Fazal), who was raised by a conservative traditional family meet Shahana (Angira Dhar), who grew up in a more modern liberal environment, and both agree to involve their parents in their wedding, not knowing what they would get themselves into.
Fun and rollercoaster aside, Bang Baaja Baaraat is a sharp criticism against social norms and traditions that often over-complicate matters like the union of two people. We are provided with the perspective of how the stubborn new generation manage to find their way in merging differences with honesty and compromises.
Earlier this year, Y Films also produced music videos featuring 6 Pack Band, the first India’s transgender singer group from “Hijra” community. Introducing themselves in their first song cover “Hum Hain Happy” as the third gender, who is “ignored by most, tolerated by some, misunderstood by all”, the music video depicts their carefree attitude in the often harsh tough lives of transgenders.
Their most recent original single “Sab Rab De Bande” featuring Sonu Nigam conveys an intimate and heartwarming message that there should be no barrier of caste, community or gender; “for we are all equal in the eyes of the Almighty”, for humanity is the only one religion we should all practice. The music video of “Sab Rab De Bande” is inspired by the true story of one of the band’s members life.
Check out more Y-Films’ production on its YouTube channel.

Find out the various gender discriminative practices across the globe.

Ayunda is interested in the intersection of pop culture, media, and gender issues. She earned her master's degree at Cultural Studies department, University of Indonesia. She is into Lana Del Rey, speculative fiction, and BoJack Horseman. Her own social media sites, however, are quite uneventful, but feel free to say hi: facebooktwitter.