Was 1992 a Turning Point for Homosexuals in Contemporary India?
- 88 Downloads
For many familiar with contemporary India’s history of homosexuality, 1992 may be seen as a turning point. In 1992, activists protested against the infamous anti-sodomy law, Section 377 of the penal code, a provision which had been frequently employed by the police to harass the gay community. The public protest marked a historical point in the lives of the Indian homosexuals as the issue of homosexual citizenry entered public and popular discourse in contemporary Indian society. This paper seeks to establish the validity of 1992 as a historical point beyond the singular event of protest. It attempts to encourage one to consider the ways in which the increased political subjectivity of the homosexuals in contemporary India intersect with the historical emergence of the Hindu Right’s ideological hegemony from the 1990s. The added lens helps one to seek how the political and the personal can come together to identify, and invite discussion on, the varying statuses of different homosexual groups, ranging from lesbians to Muslim homosexuals, both of which tended to be marginally excluded from the emergence of a collective homosexual identity in the movement against Section 377.
KeywordsHomosexuality Contemporary India Muslim Hindu right Section 377
Compliance with Ethical Standards
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
- ABVA Memorandum to the Commissioner of Police, New Delhi. (November 8, 1992) (on file with the Alternative Law Forum).Google Scholar
- AIDS Bhedbhav Virodhi Andolan. (1991). Less than Gay: A Citizen’s Report on the status of homosexuality in India. New Delhi: Prince Offset Printers.Google Scholar
- Bacchetta, P. (1991). When the (Hindu) Nation Exiles Its Queers. Social Text, 61, 141.Google Scholar
- Basu, T., et al. (1993). Khaki Shorts and Saffron Flags. Delhi: Orient Longman.Google Scholar
- Bharatiya Janata Party. (1998). Election Manifesto 1998.Google Scholar
- BJP Mahila Morcha. (1991). ‘Women’s decade: Mahila Morcha Response. In Dashak Ke Jharokhe Mein. New Delhi: Bhartiya Janata Party.Google Scholar
- Foucault, M. (2000). The punitive society. In P. Rabinow (Ed.), Ethics: Subjectivity and truth/Michel foucault. London: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
- Ghosh, S. (2010). Fire: A queer film classic. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press.Google Scholar
- Golwalkar, M. S. (1980). Bunch of thoughts. Bangalore: Sahitya Sindhu Prakashana.Google Scholar
- Jaffrelot, C. (1996). The Hindu Nationalist Movement and Indian Politics: 1925 to the 1990s. London: Hurst.Google Scholar
- Jayaprasad, K. (1991). RSS and Hindu Nationalism. New Delhi: Deep and Deep.Google Scholar
- Kapur, R. (2005). Erotic justice: Law and the new politics of postcolonialism. Oregon: Glass House Press.Google Scholar
- Kapur, R., & Cossman, B. (1996). Subversive sites: Feminist Engagements with Law in India. New Delhi: Sage in Association with the Book Review Literary Trust.Google Scholar
- Lucknow, Z. (1992). India gets money to fight AIDS. British Medical Journal, 304(6835), 1196.Google Scholar
- Narrain, A., & Bhan, G. (2005). Introduction. In A. Narrain & G. Bhan (Eds.), Because i have a voice: Queer politics in India. New Delhi: Yoda Press.Google Scholar
- Narrain, A., & Gupta, A. (2011). Introduction. In A. Narrain & A. Gupta (Eds.), Law like love: Queer perspectives on law. New Delhi: Yoda Press.Google Scholar
- People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Karnataka (PUCL-K). (2001). Human rights violations against sexual minorities in India: A case study of Bangalore.Google Scholar
- People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Karnataka (PUCL-K). (2003). Human rights violations against the transgender community: A study of Kothi and Hijra sex workers in Bangalore.Google Scholar
- Scroll staff. (15 April 2016). Five excellent arguments for decriminalising gay sex that the Supreme Court ignored, Scroll, 29 January 2014. scroll.in/article/655002/five-excellent-arguments-for-decriminalising-gay-sex-that-the-supreme-court-ignored.Google Scholar
- Section 377, Indian Penal Code (1860).Google Scholar
- Shet, S. (15 January 1995). ‘Helping for Men’, Mid-day, (Bombay).Google Scholar
- Shiv Sainiks strip to tease Dilip kumar over. (13 December 1998). Hindustan Times.Google Scholar
- Sukthankas, A. (2000). For people like us. In B. Bose (Ed.), Translating desire. New Delhi: Katha.Google Scholar
- Tanna, K. N. (22 March 1996). Elephantine Problems of the “Invisibles”. New Delhi: Hindustan Times.Google Scholar
- The Cabinet Papers, 1915–1988. (13 April 2016). The National Archives. www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/cabinetpapers/themes/homosexuality.htm.
- Vanita, R. (2002). Homosexuality in India: Past and present. Liberal Studies Faculty Publications, 29, 59.Google Scholar