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The film, Dunno Y ... Na Jaane Kyun, was made in the wake of a High Court ruling last year which legalised homosexuality. But the film industy and gay rights campaigners are steeling themselves for protests from religious conservatives.
Film posters featuring two semi-naked young men locked in a passionate clinch reveal how liberal India's traditionally conservative society has become. But they are expected to fuel controversy in the run up to its release in May.
Despite its legalisation last year, homosexuality remains a taboo in India where until now homosexuals have been portrayed in Indian films as effeminate comedy characters.
The recent hit film Dostana marked a slight change in approach when it portrayed two straight men pretending to be gay to persuade a landlord his beautiful daughter would be safe with them in the house.
In Dunno Y ... Na Jaane Kyun however the two lead characters are unambiguously gay and the relationship between them is explicitly sexual.
Its release will mark a growing boldness in Bollywood with directors increasingly willing to challenge conservative mainstream attitudes. It follows a series of films released last year which udity and passionate kissing, or "lip-lock" as it is known in India, for the first time.
Kambakkht Ishq, one of last year's major hits featured action hero Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor, locked in a steamy embrace, while September 11 revealed Bollywood heart-throb John Abraham's bare buttocks.
In Dunno Y Na Jaane Kyun, Kapil Sharma plays a struggling actor who "compromises his morals to get ahead in the film industry". He has said he initially struggled with the "sex scenes".
"Though I was prepared mentally, when the shoot actually began, I got nervous about doing it in front of the camera. I was especially awkward in a gay party scene," he said.
Manvendra Singh, one of India's leading gay rights campaigners, said he believed the film will provoke protests when it is released, but he welcomed the debate it will open. "There could be a backlash, but as long as it does not show vulgarity it will go some way to sensitizing the public," he said.
Dean Nelson (The Telegraph) - 22 January 2010.