A brief prehistory of queer freedom in the New India

Sircar, Oishik (2021) A brief prehistory of queer freedom in the New India. In: Sexuality, abjection and queer existence in contemporary India. Routledge, London, pp. 226-250. ISBN 9781003193531

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What happens when queers become democracy’s ‘favorite 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. ‘If everything is dangerous’, writes Michel Foucault, ‘then we always have something to do. So my position leads not to apathy, but to a hyper- and pessimistic activism’ (Foucault et al. 1983: 252). The commonsense 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 in this chapter, is what makes this a dangerous commonsense. The period in the wake of the Navtej Johar judgment that decriminalized adult, consensual and private sex in India by reading down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code can be characterized as one that paradigmatically marks this dangerous commonsense. In this chapter, I offer a brief prehistory of what came before Navtej Johar to temper the celebration of queer liberation. I inject a dose of suspicion into the linear progressive logic that queer liberation has followed in India, particularly to remain alert to the complicities between Hindutva, neoliberalism and queer politics.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: Queer freedom | Gay marriage | Hindutva | Queer politics
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Gender Studies
Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Law and Legal Studies
JGU School/Centre: Jindal Global Law School
Depositing User: Mr. Syed Anas
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2022 14:21
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2023 04:34
Official URL: https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.432...
URI: https://pure.jgu.edu.in/id/eprint/812


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