Savarna Citations of Desire: Queer Impossibilities of Inter-Caste Love

Feminist Review 133 (1):63-78 (2023)
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Abstract

Deliberations and discussions on inter-caste relationships in South Asia so far have been fixed within the confines of heterosexuality. Not only are heterosexual inter-caste relationships the default imagination of an inter-caste love, but also notions of heteronormativity dominate discussions of inter-caste love, relationship and, importantly, inter-caste marriages. In asking ‘queer’ questions about caste, this article analyses what an inter-caste dynamic means for social movements which rally around notions of love and desire or choose to reject them. This article recentres desire and intimacy into caste to imagine queer (im)possibilities of dalit love. In doing so, the article asks: where is the dalit lover? Building upon conversations and interviews with five dalit-queer scholars, intellectuals and activists, as well as provocations offered by them, this article complicates ‘inter-caste love’ itself as a site of power and politics, of social categorisation as well as of critical theorisation.

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