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Love’s Rite

Love’s Rite

Ruth Vanita
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Overview

‘An effortless combination of empathy, moral conviction and deep cultural sensitivity’-Ashis Nandy

Long before the debate on marriage equality began, young, non-English speaking, low-income female couples all over India got married by religious rites or committed joint suicide, which they considered being ‘married in death’. These women had no contact with any movement and had never heard words like ‘lesbian’ or ‘gay’. While many families, in collusion with police, violently separated the couples, several families also supported their daughters.
Love’s Rite, first published in 2005, is the first and still the only book-length study of these unions, starting with one reported in 1980. The book argues that the couples asserted-and today still assert-their right to be together, using an age-old language of love understood by Indians. Vanita explores Indian religious, legal and literary traditions that provide spaces for same-sex and other socially disapproved unions.

While many recent high-profile Indian weddings have been reported as the ‘first’ of their kind, Love’s Rite celebrates the unsung pioneers and martyrs of the struggle for marriage equality.

Imprint: Penguin

Published: Apr/2020

ISBN: 9780144000593

Length : 280 Pages

Love’s Rite

Ruth Vanita
Overview

‘An effortless combination of empathy, moral conviction and deep cultural sensitivity’-Ashis Nandy

Long before the debate on marriage equality began, young, non-English speaking, low-income female couples all over India got married by religious rites or committed joint suicide, which they considered being ‘married in death’. These women had no contact with any movement and had never heard words like ‘lesbian’ or ‘gay’. While many families, in collusion with police, violently separated the couples, several families also supported their daughters.
Love’s Rite, first published in 2005, is the first and still the only book-length study of these unions, starting with one reported in 1980. The book argues that the couples asserted-and today still assert-their right to be together, using an age-old language of love understood by Indians. Vanita explores Indian religious, legal and literary traditions that provide spaces for same-sex and other socially disapproved unions.

While many recent high-profile Indian weddings have been reported as the ‘first’ of their kind, Love’s Rite celebrates the unsung pioneers and martyrs of the struggle for marriage equality.

Select Preferred Format

Ruth Vanita

Ruth Vanita, Professor at the University of Montana, former Reader at Delhi University, founding co-editor of Manushi (1978–1990), is the author of several books, including Love’s Rite: Same-Sex Marriage in India and the West; Gandhi’s Tiger and Sita’s Smile: Essays on Gender, Sexuality and Culture; Same-Sex Love and the English Literary Imagination; and A Play of Light: Selected Poems. She has published widely on Shakespeare, and translated many works of fiction, including most recently The Co-Wife and Other Stories by Premchand.

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