Netflix's show 'Indian Matchmaking' which recently hit the OTT platform, managed to get the social media talking.
Aimed at showing a peak in desi "culture" and how arranged matches are "arranged" by matchmakers (Sima Aunty from Mumbai, in this case) using bio-data and interests of potential candidates, the show became a cringewatch for many. Binge-watchers came down hard on the showmakers, calling out the alleged casteism, sexism, colourism among many things involved in the show that irked them immensely.However, it did not stop at that. Pradhyuman, a jewellery designer by profession and one of the contestants on the show, recently featured on the Humans of Bombay page and revealed that the show had invited social media trolls to raise questions about his sexuality. The otherwise popular Netflix series documented the life of Pradhyuman, one of the many who appeared on the show. The Mumbai-hailing contestant belonged to an affluent family. His nitrogen fox nuts were a rage on and off the show. His room had a fingerprint-enabled wardrobe. On the show, it was also revealed that he had rejected many, many rishtas that came his way.
Sounds fair, right? Not for the internet troll, it seems."Last year, when I received a call from Netflix about a new matchmaking show that highlighted Indian culture, I took a leap of faith and agreed; I thought it would be a different experience," Pradhyuman was quoted as saying by HOB.
"But 80 hours of filming had been condensed into a 60-minute, predetermined edited storyline, which ignited thousands of comments and debates across the internet."His life choices, as shown on the show and perhaps real life, were questioned online, his sexuality was questioned; the Indian Matchmaking contestant revealed.
"Shortly after the show was released a close friend of mine alerted me that I was trending on Twitter, with hundreds of people debating my sexuality. Unsolicited comments assumed I was gay or bisexual, and urged me to come out of the closet. I felt anger and resentment, but gradually I gained my composure and began to question their reasoning."
In the Facebook post Pradhyuman said that he is straight, but is being stereotyped 'due to a deep seeded mindset of Indian society.'
"I even thought of the alternate scenario: What if the person in question really was gay? What if that person had been forced out of the closet with no consent of their own? That thought frightened me. Were these haters ready to take the blame for the consequences of their words? As a society we have belittled the LGBTQ community by using them as a tool of mockery," he said.
The time since he started trending for his sexuality on social media, Pradhyuman has been introspecting as to how men are being viewed in the society. "People will judge you for not being ‘manly’ enough, but I want other men to know that it’s okay to be who you are and do what you love. Stereotypical masculinity is not the rent we need to pay to exist in this world. I just have one question, ‘Can men not be beautiful?’"