Those who aren’t millennial kids, remember watching Indian sitcoms like Hum Panch, Dekh Bhai Dekh and more on our TV sets. Recently, fans have come up with a theory suggesting that Bhairavi Raichura’s Kajal (Bhai) from the Ekta Kapoor produced Hum Panch was an LGBT icon of the ’90s.
This ‘theory’ seems pretty interesting and has even caught the attention of Ekta. The producer, behind many hits serials then and even now, open up about it. For those who do not know, Kajal was a tomboy who spoke like a tapori.
As reported by Hindustan Times, producer Ekta Kapoor responded to a social media post claiming Bhairavi Raichura’s Kajal Bhai. The Hum Paanch producer crashed the hopes of fans who were suggesting that Kajal was a ‘LGBT icon’
The portal reported that Ekta Kapoor said Kajal was simply a ‘non-conformist’. Ekta responded to the original Instagram post declaring Kajal from Hum Paanch was a ’90s LGBT icon’. The producer wrote on Instagram stories, “Hmm! Nope How u wish! But def a non conformist.”
Talking about the original post, it stated that, “Kajal was called ‘Kajal Bhai’, everyone at home used she/her pronouns for Kajal, but Kajal used he/him pronouns to self-reference. Gender-nonconforming style: Kajal always dressed in conventionally male-presenting, loose clothes. Kajal Bhai told people to f**k off when they recommended dressing ‘like a girl’.”
During a 2016 interview with the same publication, Bhairavi Raichura who plays Kajal, said, “I owe my career to Hum Paanch as it gave me my identity as an actor. People still remember my role as Kajal Bhai. I am thankful to Ekta and her team. Even today, the bond between all the actors is strong. We recently met for a reunion and reminisced about the show.”
Hum Panch starred Ashok Saraf as Anand Mathur, Priya Tendulkar as Anand’s first wife and Shoma Anand as Bina Mathur. The lead cast also consisted of Mathur’s daughters – Vandana Pathak as Meenakshi Mathur (she was replaced by Kavita Rathod, Ritu Deepak & Neelam Sagar), Amita Nangia as Radhika Mathur (she was replaced by Vidya Balan & Sujata Sanghamitra), Rakhi Vijan as Sweety Mathur, Bhairavi Raichura as Kajal Mathur aka Kajal Bhai and Priyanka Mehra as Chhoti (she was replaced by Aishwarya Duggal & Anna Khan as Chotti.
Do you think Hum Panch’s Kajal Bhai was an LGBT icon of the ’90s? Let us know in the comments.