Maverick film directors inject LGBT erotica in India’s cultural icon Rabindranath Tagore’s works, according to a report
Rabindranath Tagore, Asia’s first Nobel laureate in literature, has been interpreted as a gay rights champion by two maverick Indian film directors in their recent works.
Tagore, who won the Nobel in 1913 for Gitanjali, a collection of songs and poems, has had several films made on his novels and short stories. They have ranged from advocating women’s emancipation to support for society’s marginalized. Now an Indian director known for making films that revel in shock elements – full-frontal sex and profanities – has had his latest film, with strong undertones of gay, lesbian and transgender sex, released in India amidst mixed reviews.
The body of queer literature in the country is a slow-growing one, with new anthologies, novels, poetry, biographies, graphic works and academic treatises building it up every year. It’s a body nourished, naturally, by a growing readership for such literature. And wherebooks and readers exist, there’s bound to be a book club.
In Chennai, such a club goes by the name Orinam’s Quilt, a reference to Ismat Chugtai’s 1941 short story ‘Lihaaf’ (The Quilt), as well as a portmanteau of the term Queer Literature.