Gay Bombay: Radio 4

In this informative and absorbing programme, Zareer Masani travels back to his home town Mumbai (formerly Bombay) to find out how attitudes to homosexuality have changed since he grew up there.

Interviewing a range of figures – Mr Gay India 2014, members of the Humsafar Trust, and those from the elite Anglican school where he suffered homophobic bullying – Masani enables the listener to gain a real insight into Bombay.

The question of how far a generalisation you can make and whether the situation has improved for everyone hangs throughout: is the new liberation just concentrated on a middle-class urban bubble? One of Zareer’s interviewees discusses how those in rural areas are more dependent on their families – who often have narrower views – for support. Another interview is at the Humsafar Trust, who are directly addressing issues for those beyond the affluent, liberal ideas.

Zareer looks at the influence of legal practices on homophobia, interviewing Justice Shah and exposing both the legal implications and the influence of the media.

Ultimately, as Zareer compares these experiences to his childhood, he is excited by the growing liberalism observed – an excitement that the listener cannot help but share.

Image: Arian Zwegers

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