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Same-sex Love in India


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Table of Contents

PART I: INTRODUCTION: ANCIENT INDIAN MATERIALS Vyasa's Mahabharata : Sikhandin's Sex Change (Sanskrit) Manikantha Jataka (Pali) Vishnu Sharma's Panchatantra (Sanskrit) Vatsyayana's Kamasutra (Sanskrit) PART II: INTRODUCTION: MEDIEVAL MATERIALS IN THE SANSKRATIC TRADITION Bhagvata Purana : The Embrace of Shiva and Vishnu (Sanskrit) Skanda Purana : Sumedha and Somavan (Sanskrit) Shiva Purana : The Birth of Kartikeya (Sanskrit) Shiva Purana : The Birth of Ganesha (Sanskrit) Somadeva Bhatta's Kathasaritsagara : Kalingasena and Somaprabha (Sanskrit) Padma Purana : Arjuni (Sanskrit) Ayyappa and Vavar: Celibate Friends Krittivasa Ramayana : The Birth of Bhagiratha (Bengali) Jagannath Das (Oriya) PART III: INTRODUCTION: MEDIEVAL MATERIALS IN THE PERSO-URDU TRADITION Amir Khusro (Persian and Hindvi) Ziauddin Barani: The Khaljis in Love (Persian) The Mirror of Secrets : 'Akhi' Jamshed Rajgiri (Persian) Baburnama (Turkish) 'Mutribi' Samarqandi: The Fair and the Dark Boys (Persian) Haqiqat al-Fuqara : Poetic Biography of "Madho Lal" Hussayn (Persian), with Hussayn's poems (Punjabi) Sarmad (Persian) Muhammad Akram 'Ghanimat' Kanjohi: Love's Sorcery (Persian) 'Abru': Advice to a Beloved (Urdu) Siraj Aurangabadi: The Garden of Delusion (Urdu) Mir Abdul Hai'Taban': The Lover Who Looked like a Beloved (Urdu) Dargah Quli Khan: Portrait of a City (Persian) Mir Taqi 'Mir': Autobiography and Poems (Persian and Urdu) PART IV: INTRODUCTION: MODERN INDIAN MATERIALS Nazir Akbaraadi (Urdu) Rekhti Poetry: Love Between Women (Urdu) Shri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (Bengali) Bankim Chandra Chatterjee: Indira (Bengali) The Kamasutra in the Twentieth Century Gopabandhu Das: Poems Written in Prison (Oriya) The New Homophobia: Ugra's Chocolate (Hindi) M. K. Gandhi: Reply to a Query (English) Amrita Sher-Gil: Letters (English) Hakim Muhammad Yusuf Hasan: Do Shiza (Urdu) 'Firaq' Gorakhpuri: Poet vs. 'Critic' (Urdu) Sharada: 'Farewell' (Hindi) Suryakant Tripathi 'Nirala': Kulli Bhaat (Hindi) Josh Malihabadi: 'There Will Never Be Another Like You' (Urdu) Ismat Chughatai: 'Tehri Lakeer' (Urdu) Rajendra Yadav: 'Waiting' (Hindi) Bhupen Khakhar: A Story (Gujarati) Kishori Charan Das: 'Sarama's Romjance' (Oriya) Kewal Sood: The Hen Coop (Hindi) Shobhana Siddique: 'Full to the Brim' (Hindi) V.T. Nandakumar: Two Girls (Malayalam) Vijay Dan Detha: 'A Double Life' (Jajasthani) Vikram Seth: Poems (English) Nirmala Deshpande: 'Mary Had a Little Lamb' (Marathi) Vijay Tendulkar: Mitra's Story (Marathi) Sunil Gangopadhyay: Those Days (Bengali) H.S. Shivaprakash: Shakespeare Dreamship (Kannada) Inez Vere Dullas: Poems (English) Hoshang Merchant: Poems for Vivan (English) Ambia: 'One Person and Another' (Tamil)

About the Author

RUTH VANITA is Associate Professor of Women's Studies at the University of Montana. - SALEEM KIDWAI is a translator, writer, and consultant living in New Delhi.


'The essays are works of meticulous scholarship and of great interest to those interested in the Indian literary tradition.' - The Statesman (New Delhi) 'Same-Sex Love in India: Readings in Indian Literature is truly a labour of love. It is also an extremely useful compilation of material on same-sex love in India, accompanied by insightful analyses of contemporary social mores at the time that the poems, stories and novels were written.' - Ritu Menon, India Today 'Ruth Vanita and Saleem Kidwai have offered readers a vast and sumptuous feast in their diverse selection of South Asian texts ranging from the ancient Sanskrit epics, the Pali Jatakas and the Kamasutra through medieval puranic narratives and Urdu poetry to Mahatma Gandhi and contemporary fiction. The collection spans not only an immense chronological sweep but also includes work from many of the classical and regional languages of ancient, medieval, and modern India. This rich collection, accompanied by the authors' informative commentary, is a powerful corrective to the often expressed opinion that the Indian tradition is either unaware of or openly hostile to same sex love. This volume will be welcomed by scholarly and general audiences alike.' - Dr Robert Goldman, Sarah Kailath Professor of India Studies, University of California at Berkeley 'This remarkable volume brings together an encyclopedic collection of writings on the subjects of love between women and love between men in India from ancient times to the present. Vanita and Kidwai's introductory essays to each section are works of outstanding scholarship. This book will long be considered the definitive anthology of documents on same-sex love in India.' - Lillian Faderman, author of To Believe in Women: What Lesbians Have Done for America - A History 'This path-breaking volume presents the English-reading public with an imposing array of texts relating to an important but little-studied aspect of Indian life and literature. While accessible to the lay reader, it ranges impressively over three millennia and a dozen languages and will certainly excite scholars across many disciplines.' - Sumit Guha, Professor of History, Brown University 'An age that has specialized in assembly-line violence and death factories must celebrate every form of love as an affirmation of life. This enchanting collection is a tribute to an ancient civilization which has always cherished love that defies conventional ideas of sanity and normality.' - Ashis Nandy, author, The Intimate Enemy, Director, Center for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi

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