Landscape Of Desire


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About the Book Landscape of Desire, by Kevin Rabalais

One is the way in which the past is brought into the present, with the traditions of ancient Persia and the nomadic Turkic tribes of the region staged against the backdrop of Islamist Iran and post-Soviet Kazakhstan. Quite a few suggestive glances are exchanged, not all of them magnanimous. The idea was essentially that landscape, even picturesque landscape, is shaped by ruling powers, and that it, in turn, has a role in shaping the lives and sensibilities of those who live within it.

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With Ride the Caspian , Menlibayeva and Behbahani complicate this account in interesting ways, lending it some contemporary nuance. But when almost all of these thinkers come from a single tradition, then that militates against a diversely populous landscape of desire. Here is what the story looks like if we follow-as the ruling largely does, the trajectory of what it calls the "Judeo-Christian tradition".


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Anything other than marital procreative heterosexuality is suspect and to be treated with great violence. The Book of Leviticus from the Old Testament of the Bible, dating from well over years ago, pronounces all manner of misery on men who lie with men. In such a tradition, homosexuality has always been covered in a cloud of shame, and violence has attended it for centuries.

This is the tradition that the British brought to India almost years ago. This is the tradition that is responsible for the promulgation of the Indian Penal Code by Lord Macaulay in and Section a year later. That is why the five-member bench of the Supreme Court focuses on the tradition of bigotry born of the Judeo-Christian tradition as it has been brought into India by the British.

But why then do the learned judges look primarily to this same tradition of prejudice in order to bolster their case for liberty? One could argue quite rightly that while the Judeo-Christian tradition has historically been homophobic, it has in the past few decades made big strides towards accepting multiple sexualities, and this is why the Supreme Court has drawn sustenance from it.

Native Landscapes – Between Nature, Desire & Design – PlanItNative

But what happens if we look at the story a little differently? Arguably, around the time the Bible was busy inveighing against what later came to be called the "love that dare not speak its name", religions and texts in the Indic civilisations were quite comfortable with such desires. Vatsyayana's Kama Sutra in the 3rd century AD candidly describes people of the "third nature" as having desires that in other parts of the world were already being described as deviant.

Mir Taqi Mir in the 18th century was writing freely about male-male love while witches were being prosecuted in Europe for being insufficiently heterosexual. Hijras were given high positions in the Mughal courts even as they were described in glowing terms in the Ramayana. In the 13th century, Amir Khusro was pining in verse for his pir, Nizamuddin Auliya, seven centuries before the British abolished chemical castration as a punishment for homosexuality.

TRAILER Landscape of Desire with Margaret Luce

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in the 16th century described himself as Radha to his beloved Krishna, while in the 19th century, shortly before Oscar Wilde was prosecuted, Nawab Nasiruddin Haider of Awadh would dress as a woman on the birth date of each Imam. Far from taking us into the 21st century, then, last week's welcome judgment could equally be described as taking India back to the 3rd century or the 18th.

Here is one way in which the ruling itself suggests this might be done. This expression is common in UN circles.

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It refers solely to physical, sexual activity by men with men. New copy - Usually dispatched within 2 working days. Seller Inventory B Condition: Brand New. In Stock.

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