New queer politics in the new India: notes on failure and stuckness in a negative moment

Sircar, Oishik (2017) New queer politics in the new India: notes on failure and stuckness in a negative moment. Unbound: Harvard Journal of the Legal Left, 11 (1). pp. 1-36. ISSN 1932-3808

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What happens when queers become democracy’s ‘favourite minority’ championed by the capitalists, the liberals, the conservatives, and the leftists, all singing in the language of rights? It marks the inauguration (or culmination?) of a moment that is not bad but dangerous. The common-sense opposite of bad is good—and the good in this situation, of all of these apparently oppositional political positions becoming strange bedfellows to turn queers into rights-bearing subjects, as I will argue, is what makes this a dangerous common-sense. In this paper, I both describe and critique the emerging intimacies between queer politics, the Hindu Right and neoliberalism in India (and its global mutations) as a concentrated instance of the way ‘queer’—as identity, discourse and method—is being depoliticized, individualized and responsibilized. The paper is written in the form of a bricolage of descriptive refractions that have animated my practices of critique and activism both inside and outside the legal academy over the last decade, especially through a period where I have had to negotiate and account for the contradictions of my own politics and the complicities that have contaminated any claim to purity. I end the paper on a note of hopelessness (not apathy) because resistance and solidarity are romantically overrated, and much of the cause for the dangerous common-sense we have built for ourselves.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Queer Politics | India | Critical Legal Theory | Postcolonial Studies
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Gender Studies
Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Political Science
JGU School/Centre: Jindal Global Law School
Depositing User: Gena Veineithem
Date Deposited: 10 May 2022 05:52
Last Modified: 10 May 2022 05:52
Official URL:


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