Same-Sex Love in India: A Literary History – Edited by Ruth Vanita and Saleem Kidwai


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In 2009, the Delhi High Court’s historic judgment overturning Section 377 as violative of the Indian Constitution referred to Same-Sex Love in India. So did the 2018 Supreme Court decision which upheld that judgment. All the petitions against this anti-sodomy law have cited this landmark book to prove that homosexuality is not a Western import.

Same-Sex Love in India is the book that brought to light the long, incontestable history of same-sex love and desire in the Indian subcontinent. Covering over 2000 years, from the Mahabharata to the late twentieth century, the book contains excerpts from stories, poems, letters, biographies and histories in fifteen languages. The editors’ introductions to each period and text trace the changing depictions of and debates around same-sex relations, illuminating their social, political and literary contexts. These essays have been called ‘outstanding works of scholarship’. Including writings that range from romantic to analytical, playful to thoughtful, this classic work will help you see Indian culture and society with new eyes.


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