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Event Review: "First Among (Un)Equals: Marriage Under the Indian Rainbow"

Voyages into the Past had the pleasure of hosting Professor Madhavi Menon, Koyel Ghosh and Dr. Debjyoti Ghosh for a panel discussion titled “First Among (Un)Equals: Marriage Under the Indian Rainbow”. Over the course of a little more than an hour, a fiery discussion ensued as it tackled a series of questions, including the potential for a legal activism in the search for queer rights, the inherent weaknesses of the court system in South Asia and the power structures that suppress voices within it and how calls to a constitutional morality can mean nothing if not backed up by the moral fortitude required to implement it. Additionally, the speakers also questioned the necessity for the institution of marriage as a whole – and how the language of marital coupling serves nothing more than to police the sexuality of the people, and how the discourse of rights needs to be severed from the discourse of marriage if queer liberation in India is to be achieved – and lastly, of the inherent absence of alternative imaginations of queer kinships in South Asia. Sparks flew, but in this session dedicated to Siddharth Gautam on his 60th birth anniversary, it served as a reminder of how fraught the possibilities of queer freedom in South Asia remain, but at the same time, how we must keep imagining and rewriting the language of existing queerly, till that freedom becomes freedom for all – queer or not.

We would like to thank everyone for being present and interacting actively to make this event a success.

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