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The Asia Times’ Pepe Escobar is always a good read when it comes to the Mid East and the War on Terror, but today’s web edition of the paper contains this interesting story on Girlfriends, a film that seems to be Bollywood’s (delayed) answer to Basic Instinct. Predictably, the film, which deals frankly with a lesbian relationship, is being attacked — violently — by Hindu right-wing organizations seeking a government ban as well as critics and those on the left.

The “grade C film” tells the story of a lesbian who falls in love with a man, causing her female lover to become psychopathic. Critics and lesbians have attacked the film for suggesting that gay women are violent man-haters, while the Hindu religious right has responded equally predictably.

Quoting the article: “Shiv Sena has criticized the movie claiming that it goes ‘against the grain of Indian culture by portraying scenes of lovemaking between two women.’ A member of its women’s wing told Asia Times Online that films like Girlfriend are ‘a bad influence’ and a ‘blot on Indian culture.’ ‘When most Indian women do not know about things like lesbianism, why expose them to it?’ she asked.

‘Women seeking satisfaction from other women is alien to our culture,’ says a member of Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP). ‘We will not allow films like Girlfriend to poison our women by making them curious about immoral things.’

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