Homosexuality in India: Review of Literatures

20 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2010

See all articles by Nityannand Tiwari

Nityannand Tiwari

Banaras Hindu University - Law School

Date Written: September 19, 2010


It is often said by the people that same-sex relationship and love is a western import. The term “western” itself is an anomaly as it assumes that the west is a monolithic entity; but that’s another issue. Same-sex relationship and love is not an alien import but rather has existed in Indian society throughout the ages. That ironically, it was homophobia that was an import from the west rather than homosexuality. Same-sex love has existed in Indian society and culture and this can be seen if one were to do a literature survey. Hindu festivals and sex which celebrate homosexual acts, the description of sodomy Kam Sutra, the court customs of Babar, references to women loving women in the Mahabharta and Ramayana and description of Tantric initiation rites which evoked the idea of universal bisexuality in human personality are discussed widely.

The issue of homosexuality in India is controversial .It is complex matter because of many types of religious life, living in India. This chapter reviews some of the literature that deals with the historical facets of homosexuality and then attempts to discuss the contemporary situation of same-sex relation in India. The changes in the meanings associated with same-sex sexuality are discussed some what sequentially, though not in strict chronological order, in relation to some major landmarks in both Indian history and the contemporary period.

Suggested Citation

Tiwari, Nityanand, Homosexuality in India: Review of Literatures (September 19, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1679203 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1679203

Nityanand Tiwari (Contact Author)

Banaras Hindu University - Law School ( email )

Uttar Pradesh
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 221005

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