The Centre for the Study of Democracy (CSD), within the School of Social Sciences, has research themes that include gender and sexuality as well as Post-Colonial Politics, Development and Emerging Powers.

There is an explicit focus on engagement with communities and impacting upon public debates around these contentious subjects. India is one such region.

University of Westminster with Pride flags

About this Event

This event is an exploration of the larger theme of homonationalism globally – a term originally coined by Jasbir Puar to explain the association between nationalists and members from the LGBTQ community. In some places, right-wing nationalisms that would in the past dehumanise LGBTQ persons have sought to reframe themselves and appropriate and discipline LGBTQ movements. Islamophobia is deployed by many instances of these homonationalisms.

This panel discussion will focus on the growing trend of #homohindunationalism in India, where in there has been an attempt to label and pass rightwing Hindu government policies as pro-lgbtq community even though the track record of Hindu nationalism is resolutely queerphobic.

Is this a welcome change on the part of the right wing? Or, is it a cynical move to present a progressive and liberal face in the West? Or is it a ploy to prevent solidarities between LGBTQ and religious minority communities in India? For instance, why would sections of queer movement rally in favour of Indian government’s unilateral annexation of Kashmir while others oppose it? Is the representation of right-wing Hindu nationalist action as ‘liberating the LGBTQ community of Jammu & Kashmir’ partly fair? How is the queer community in India responding to recent large scale protests against discriminatory citizenship laws? Should LGBTQ movement, still nascent in India where homosexuality was decriminalised only recently, keep out of solidarity politics and focus on Pride as celebration or should it become immersed? What is the controversy over the Transgender Persons Act 2019 all about? How are activist queer spaces organized and what are the hierarchies of oppression that exist within these? What challenges exist in South Asian diasporas in general and Indian diaspora in particular when it comes to negotiating LGBTQ rights/identities and cultural identities?

This multi-disciplinary panel will bring together queer scholars who research the above themes in conversation.