While some of these questions seem old, they continue to be renewed in public debate on competing claims to public spaces. Ideas about public and private spaces also speak to the ways in which caste and class shape ideas about respectability, thus marking some places as ‘safe’ and others as ‘risky’.
akshay khanna, who is a social anthropologist and a political activist, weaves the narrative of how the Queer body came to be included into juridical registers of the State as a citizen-subject. The book is divided into six parts starting with an Introduction. The tone of the book is already set before the introduction to the contents, when it starts with the lines of the historic poem “Hum Dekhenge” written by Faiz Ahmed Faiz in 1979. The book is based on multi-sited doctoral fieldwork carried out by akshay between October 2005 and February 2007. The introduction starts with a discussion around India’s modernity, sexuality and ‘sexualness’, moving on to talk about men holding hands in India, and the curiosity with which it is viewed by Europeans and North Americans...
Dr. Kalpana Viswanath, researcher, and urban safety and gender rights activist, shares her thoughts on issues of Public Safety and Sexuality with In Plainspeak. Co-founder and CEO of SafetiPin, a social enterprise that uses data and technology to build safer, more inclusive and smart cities, Kalpana has led large gender rights projects globally.
Will I write openly about what is or is not done, what is or is not meaningful when it comes to sexuality? Yes. Will I talk about BDSM and kink as a way of life, despite it being taboo for discussion? Yes, I will talk about BDSM and kink, and many other things as well, but I will not evangelise for them.