Recently there has been significant press coverage of landmark legislative changes relating to same-sex marriage in Western countries. From Facebook introducing temporary profile picture settings to show support for such moves to the Lok Sabha voting against yet another move to decriminalize homosexuality, Indians haven’t been cut off from the developments regarding LGBTQ rights. However, among many, including right-wing fundamentalists, it has led to the development of the idea that same-sex desire is a Western concept.
I chatted with Ruth Vanita to understand the long history of same-sex love and marriage in India and how academic research can be effectively used for activism. Born and educated entirely in India, Ruth taught for 20 years at Delhi University, and now teaches at the University of Montana. She is highly regarded in academic circles for her pioneering work on South Asian sexuality and literature. Her books such as Same Sex Love in India, that she co-edited with Saleem Kidwai, andQueering India, broke fresh ground in gender studies by showing that India has a long tradition of same-sex desire and that therefore homoeroticism does not belong exclusively to the West.
Source: Feminism in India