watch india’s first transgender pop group sing ‘happy’

Laughter! Tears! Saris! Pharrell!

by Alice Newell-Hanson
Jan 6 2016, 10:56pm

The transgender "hijra" community has existed in India for thousands of years, and has been fighting for its rights for almost as long. In 2014, the Indian supreme court ruled that transgender people would be formally recognized as a "third gender" in legal documents, granting hijra vastly improved access to jobs and education. But the community remains marginalized.

"In India, the 'hijras' are a community almost in exile," Indian actress Anushka Sharma explains at the beginning of the best video you will watch on the internet this week: today, Indian entertainment company Y-Films launched the first-ever Indian transgender pop group, the 6 Pack Band, with a video cover of Pharrell's "Happy."

Music director Shamir Tandon, who helped form the band, said, "The idea was to transcend boundaries, so we thought instead of doing a Hindi song let's do an English one. They are always happy despite the fact that people abhor them, disrespect them. 'Happy', we hope, will be heard by everybody in the world."


Text Alice Newell-Hanson