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Penguin 35 Collectors Edition: Love’s Rite

Penguin 35 Collectors Edition: Love’s Rite

Same-Sex Marriages in Modern India

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

A CHRONICLE OF LOVE’S TRIUMPH OVER ALL OBSTACLES

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: India Penguin

Published: Nov/2022

ISBN: 9780670097753

Length : 404 Pages

MRP : ₹599.00

Penguin 35 Collectors Edition: Love’s Rite

Same-Sex Marriages in Modern India

Ruth Vanita

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

A CHRONICLE OF LOVE’S TRIUMPH OVER ALL OBSTACLES

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 taught English at Delhi University for twenty years and is now professor at the University of Montana. She was founding co-editor of Manushi, 1978-90, India's first nationwide feminist magazine. She is the author of several books, including Memory of Light; Love's Rite: Same-Sex Marriages in Modern India (2005); Gender, Sex and the City: Urdu Rekhti Poetry in India 1780-1870 (2012); and Dancing with the Nation: Courtesans in Bombay Cinema (2017). She is the co-editor of the pioneering Same-Sex Love in India: A Literary History, and has translated many works of fiction and poetry from Hindi and Urdu to English, most notably Chocolate: Stories on Male-Male Desire by Pandey Bechan Sharma 'Ugra' (2008). She divides her time between Missoula and Gurgaon.

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