1st Edition

The Queer and the Vernacular Languages in India Studies in Contemporary Texts and Cultures

Edited By Kaustav Chakraborty, Anup Shekhar Chakraborty Copyright 2024
    288 Pages
    by Routledge India

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    This book analyses regional expressions of the queer experience in texts available in the Indian vernacular languages. It studies queer autobiographies and literary and cinematic texts written in the vernacular languages on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues. The authors outline the specific terms that are popular in the bhashas (languages) to refer to the queer people and discuss any neo coinages/modes of communication invented by the queer people themselves. The volume also addresses the lack of queer representation in certain language communities and the lack of queer interaction in non-metropolitan cities in India.

    An important contribution to the field of queer studies in India, this timely book will be an essential read for scholars and researchers of gender studies, queer studies, cultural studies, discrimination and exclusion studies, language studies, political studies, sociology, postcolonial studies and South Asian studies.

    List of tables

    List of Contributors


    Indian Vernaculars and the Queer: An Introduction

    Kaustav Chakraborty and Anup Shekhar Chakraborty


    Part I: Vernacular Vocabularies and Expressions of the Regional Queer


    1.      Laingik Alpasankhya and Queer Identities in the Present-Day Marathi Language

    Paresh Hate


    2.      Queer in Karnataka: Exploring Male Same Sex Sexualities in the Non-metropolitan

    Kiran Bhairannavar


    3.      A Hidden Language that Reveals a Distinct Culture: Revisiting the Lingua Franca of the Hijra Community

    Sibsankar Mal and Grace Bahalen Mundu


    Part II: LGBTQ+ and the Regional Literature


    4.      Precarious Lives, Fraught Selves: Tirunangai Autobiographies in Tamil

    Kiran Keshavamurthy


    5.      ‘They’ are Queer: Transgressing Gender Normativity in Vernacular Assamese Literature

    Tonmoyee Rani Neog and Rimpi Borah


    6.      Urdu and the Queer Consciousness

    Omar Ghazali


    Part III: Performing the Vernacular Queer Offline, Online and on Screen


    7.      Mawngkuahur in the times of E-Love: Sexualities, Regimentation, Control, Display and the Zo Queer

    Anup Shekhar Chakraborty


    8.      The Many Bodies of the Vernacular: Negotiating Queer Identity in the Public and Virtual Domains of Assam

    Amrita Pritam Gogoi


    9.      Queer Assam on Celluloid: Locating Queer Characters in Bulbul Can Sing and Fireflies-Jonaki Porua

    Anupom Kumar Hazarika



    Part IV: Queer Invisibility and the Linguistic Community


    10.  The Many ‘Queer’ Silences – Competing Masculinities in Kashmir

    Huzaifa Pandit



    11.  In Search of the Queer in (Catholic) Konkani: Silence, Slurs and the Spectacular

    Kevin Frank Fernandes


    Part V: Making the Queer Visible in the Vernacular Culture


    12.  Exploring Queer Literature in Nepali from the Hills of Darjeeling and Sikkim

    Anil Pradhan and Pema Gyalchen Tamang


    13.  Voices of Survival: LGBTQ+ Representations in Literary/Cinematic/Creative Texts in Bangla

    Himadri Roy





    Kaustav Chakraborty is Associate Professor in the Department of English, Southfield (Loreto) College, Darjeeling, India. He has been a Fellow at Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. His areas of interest are Queer Studies, Indigenous Literatures and Cultures, Folklore, Culture of Nationalism, Philosophy of Intimacy and South Asian Literatures. His major publications include Indian Drama in English (edited volume, 2014), Tagore and Nationalism (co-edited with K. L. Tuteja, 2017), Indigeneity, Tales and Alternatives (2017), The Politics of Belonging in Contemporary India: Anxiety and Intimacy (edited volume, 2020), Queering Tribal Folktales from East and Northeast India (2020) and Nations and Nationalisms: A Short Introduction (2021).

    Anup Shekhar Chakraborty is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and Political Studies at Kolkata’s Netaji Institute for Asian Studies and a member of the Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group (MCRG). He received the IPSA National Young Political Scientist Award 2020; the IDRC, DEF, and IDF “India Social Science Research Award 2009”, and the “C.R. Parekh Fellowship (2011-2012)” at the Asia Research Centre of the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has published numerous works about the Zo/Mizo people. His most recent works include Braided Entanglements of Identities, Religion, and Politics in Mizoram (2020); Religion and Politics in Mizoram (2019); and Death and Dying in Northeast India: Indigeneity and Afterlife (co-edited with P. Sen, 2023). He serves as one of the Guest Editors for the Special Issue on “LGBTQ+ People in Situations of Forced Displacement”, Oxford Journal of Refugee Studies.