But the same has never been accepted in any society of the world even though there are traces of such reactive that goes on off the curtain including India. Sherry Joseph through his study made an attempt to understand the Indian Gay and Lesbian movement through the wider perspectives of identity politics. In an era of gay and lesbian normalization, the homosexual immigrants of Indian subcontinent demanded in Britain and America: An agenda within a racist climate different from the agenda imposed by white gays and lesbians.
The impact of colonial history and concepts of orientation upon world- views and perceptions has played a central role in how non white people have been defined… Silenced in both south Asian patriarchal societies and the white gay communities in America and Europe, the south Asian gays and lesbians have had to invent themes, often with new terms of identification (2228). The identification of one”s sexual behavior is again the product of the western ideology as the entire West rests on Christian values as their prime ideological moorings.
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In post colonial era scholars of the empire began to deliberate on a new terminology that can be conveniently used to identify people not preferring to be heterosexual. Thus came, the term alternate sexualities mainly as “an attempt to colonize the general notion and establish the existence of various expressions of sexualities surrounding scriptures, arts, life histories etc. “sheep: 2229). VOLVO. 1, ISSUE 5, JUNE 2014 www. Manipulability. Mom 41 Even with such terms the real scenario of gays and lesbians in India is that they continue to be a band of ostracizes group, socially excluded, and are subjected to homophobia. Attain is more concerned with the contemptuous view of the society upon the homosexuals what brought them down as a minority with a degradingly low social respect. He attempts to undo, if not legally approve, mainly homophobia, a ERM that refers to unreasonable fear of the gays or lesbians.
A subjectivity of human beings is again centered with an appeal to all that they may in every way be treated as human being the way the third wave of feminism vouch for treating women not as a gendered identity, instead they should be looked at and thought of as human beings first . A change of attitude is the central focus. It”s a fact that the majority of people in any given society are heterosexual and the identity is based on the penetrate heterosexuality.
Naturally, people with same sex behavior are not only a minority, but also practice of such is a taboo, inasmuch as the Judder- Christian values and beliefs held that non-procreative sexual acts were a sin against nature and consequently frowned upon in the culture. This value system shaped the legal binding on sodomy’s as a criminal offence as seen in the Indian Penal Code (EPIC) Joseph: 2228). The entire world is still in a suspended state as to its stand on validating gay marriages on moral grounds and value system.
The values also has undergone change over the years especially, after the postmodern scenario of anti essentialist and anti foundational. Gay and lesbian movement all over the world as caught the attention of people in general into thinking on the issue seriously. President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry, Matt Slick feels his concern to write on the subject as: Homosexuals want others in society to accept them as normal people with normal sexual behavior patterns. They are working hard to change moral, social, and political opinion to be more in line with what they want.
They are not content to be by themselves. They want others to accept them as a philosophically, morally, and ideologically valid. They want to change the opinions of people. In short, they want to change society. Therefore, it is necessary to write about something that can so drastically affect the moral fabric of this country (Matt Slick. CARR). Attain also has felt the same concern for Indian homosexuals. Scriptural truth is a permanent reality, yet values keep changing over time with the multifarious development of the world in an ever changing world of ours.
Further, Attain is Justified in his handling the controversial issues openly in drama as in the West the Journal like Human Events has Justified the cause that: If we are on the right side of one of the greatest social, oral and spiritual issues of our time, then we need to dig deep, hold our ground, strengthen our commitment and redouble our efforts, regardless of cost or consequence on an almost daily basis, the mainstream media assures us of two things: Just as many conservatives and VOLVO. ISSUE 6 42 traditionalists were on the wrong side of slavery, segregation and women”s rights, we are on the wrong side of the gay rights issue today…… ( Traditional Osteoarthritis Values) Indian gay and lesbian movement gained ground during ass onward and they have common goals of opting for same sex marital relationship or like a living- gather like any other heterosexuals. Both of the communities might be disapproved by the general Indian mass, yet they differ in terms of the power relation they occupy or the space they could create for themselves.
Certainly, gays have greater dominance since they belong to masculine gender and India is always a male dominant society. Indian lesbians in the ass were part of the feminist movement but later on the tie is snapped off for the same reason of societal disapproval and homophobia. The active lesbian group like Khakis” in Bombay was initially a part of he feminist movement group, but later on it stopped receiving any communication or cooperation from the later. So, rightly lesbianism deserved its legitimate place in Indian society given the age old injustice to Indian women.
The present status of Indian gay and lesbian groups are rooted to the emergence of south Asian gay and lesbian group publications in Europe and America in ass of which Terrine, Sammie, and Dost were prominent. Whereas, at present only three groups in three metro cities like Bombay, Madras and Delhi are functional with least number of lesbians or women activists in them. Naturally, the lesbian women stand doubly marginal’s, first by being women and then by being lesbians.
Some of them may still be viewed as the marginal’s of the marginal’s who have been forced to be isolated -turned lesbians for being subjected to marital torture, dowry related oppression, sexual violence and so on. Thus, their sexual identification as lesbians is the result of their series of normalization and a shift of political consciousness. The gross normalization of the gay and lesbian community occurs from the dichotomy of home sexuality and heterosexuality.
The policy of domination by the majority to minority, or by the powerful to the powerless has been as old as subjecting Eve to eat the forbidden fruit by Adam and thereby bring the hubris upon the earth. Such prominent dichotomies are black and White races in America, immigrants and natives in Europe and the US, male/female and so on. Even among women, there are black and white women in the US, upper and lower caste women in India, and other common distinctions are based on class, race community all over the the world.
The third wave of feminism has some common causality with the gay-lesbian movement. Women are looked as stereotypical image as wife or as a shadow to a an. Singletons is not accepted as normal in India. Such situation forces women to go for a marriage of convenience as the case happens in the Do the Needful where Lata and Lapels accepts marriage to maintain the status quo and later on they use the liberty to pursue their own choices .
The gay movement”s claim of getting fair and equitable treatment as citizens of India is quite tenable and in unison VOLVO. 1 with the article 38(1) of the directive principles of state policies of the constitution of India that states : “The State shall strive to promote the welfare of the people by securing and protecting as effectively as it may a social order in which Justice, social, economic and political, shall inform all the institutions of the national life”( Directive Principles of State Policy) .
Drama functions as an intellectual sap to the society mirroring the actual happenings on stage and this particular drama has shown the exact picture of the functioning of all gay people in India. It has helped creating more tolerance and space for them than it was before. Now it”s common that the gays and lesbians come together from across the country to show their solidarity and a sense f belongingness as a community by lending all possible supports for one another.
Currently, India is on a path of new social and economic reformation of which class consciousness is replacing caste. Similarly, dominant social groups and structures based on tradition is giving way to differentiations which is again supported by its own discourse in a post modern setting that goes against any fundamental essentialist. On a Muggy Night in Iambi shows the intensity of gay love. The depth of experience is communicated through the stage setting in which the combination of the silhouette and the indoor present an outline of the condition of
Indian gay people as a whole to the audience. One of the prominent techniques of Attain is to create the dramatic tension which highlights the depth and breadth of not only a character but also engages the readers ‘audience into their own attitudinal turmoil to the reality of human experience. Individual talent and dramatic techniques help spinning a mindset of people toward more acceptances through a slow process of evolution.
It is slow because the impact reverberates into the minds of an audience and the same helps consolidate their rational approach to the vexed issue to be translated into acceptance. Attain”s themes are traditional Indian society and its design is to impact upon the gay, lesbian and on any one who is opposed to heterosexual as defined by society. The play is a realistic picture of society as to how does it affect an individual behavior when one is denied any self expression and hypocrisy is upheld for the sake of tradition.
This leads to the visualization of the character against social expectations and the same question Shard in On a Muggy Night in Iambi is haunted by as the national anthem, not as the celebrated Jan Gang, Man”, but as what Makes A Man A Man” (Collected Play: 55). This question teems from his quest for existentialist and as important as the national anthem. Samples is engaged with a love of convenience or sham- love for Samples who only makes an attempt of love, but his heart is engaged somewhere else what evokes Shard”s laments: “l wasted a year of my life being a house wife for you and all I get is a kick in the ass!
You beast (56)! Shard discovered that Samples was in love with Parka’s, but he too was a wounded lover, for Parka’s was more afraid of being banished by the society and hence, distanced himself. Shard loved Samples truly as he put on sinner”(vermilion) like traditional women ND wore bangles what he broke at a height of emotion, for what he found is now lost because of Parka’s. Shard helped him forget his lost-love with Parka’s but hardly could he do that as Parka’s kept cropping up to his mind painfully.
Shard could not conceal his frustration of unrequited love with Samples to Deeply”s catalytic remarks that they must be back to terms of their love -relations: “If I had a lover, would I be such a bitchy? ” Immediately, Deeply gets back to her natural sense of empathy for the female species saying that: Mimi can call yourself a dog, call yourself a pig, but never, ever insult a female” (59). Shard, while suggesting the guard to be shameless, accepts that the gay people are all shameless, but this comes as his deep protest against such societal taboo upon them.
Deeply is more of a flat character as she does not undergo any complex changes of life and performs more like filler, yet she is dynamic in her response to a conflicting situation which is expressive of her internal dialogues, put forward as external dialogues and reactions at various points in the dramatic narrative. That”s the reason that she retorts to the example of a bitchy. She o becomes more revelatory in her plea for an acceptance for gay people.
Hence, she as with Shard stands between the two categories of round and flat characters in its literary sense; or rather they are an admixture of these two and hence may be labeled as catalytic character, who help manifest the main or dynamic characters like Samples or Deed/Parka’s. She pleads for the gay men”s cause more than her own category of lesbians: “l am for gay men”s cause. Men deserve only men! (60). A distinct psychological mooring upon which one”s sexual behavior rests upon is set by the dominant discourse of any society.
Attain sets a discourse through everyday language and out-on -the- street characters through distinct mode of sexism. For example, Deeply and Samples never feel any love for each other in a sense of love- making. It”s made clear when Deeply expresses that if Samples were a woman, they could be in a love and the same is reciprocated in opposite terms and finally Deeply asserts: “If we were heterosexuals, we would be married” (65).
Deeply feels proud of being a woman: “Every time I menstruate, I thank God I am a woman”, the same word are suggested in a different way by Shard to register his contempt for all those who en any space for gay or lesbians: “Every time I menstruate, I thank God I am not pregnant” (66). Samples in the gathering of his gay and lesbian friends is obsessed with his lost love and separation with Parka’s and in turn he makes Shard”s life miserable. In other words, victim turns into victimizer.
Parka’s, at the initial stage of the drama is a victim of social pressure what is made clear in the words of Samples himself: “He left me because he was ashamed of our relationship” (69). Samples was visiting a homophobic psychiatrist to get rid of his depression but the psychiatrist plunged him into a worse situation out of his own abomination of such gay people, for he believed only in aversion therapy which brought further depression to Samples as he VOLVO. 1 45 recalls: “Until he said I would never be happy as a gay man.
It is impossible to change society, he said, but it may be possible for you to reorient yourself” (69). Arrant termed the doctor”s eccentric and homophobic view as primitive idea. In fact, the society is the great barrier what Attain”s dramatic technique and making of the characters unravel as an anti-venom against a venom of hatred for all these people who are trundling to be accepted as human beings and human dignity in the society. Bunny, the TV actor, too has experienced the same treatment of homophobia and non acceptance as gay.
While all the gay friends assembled at Samples”s residence to sympathize with the tragedy of Samples, Sheehan music was pouring in. They show their antipathy by turning on CD player, for they are anguished as no such celebrations are solemnizes for them and hence, such rituals or music is, filthy hot air” (73) for them. Here, one contrast is shown: one marriage is going on with social gaiety amid colors and USIA down stairs and upstairs apartment is witnessing a break up of a gay marriage with the chanting of parallel mantra: “…
This city and God are witness to my vow , I break all ties with Parka’s”(73). Love for each other for these two friends is so strong that Samples could not tear up the Joint photograph with Parka’s symbolizing their conjugal relationship. From the episode of separation between these two friends begins the tragedy of Koran, a dear sister of Samples himself. She was introduced to Deed by Samples since four years.
The gathering at Samples”s flat upstairs in Act l, is the hot bed of making ND breaking all gay relationship and the trauma they bear silently throughout their lives. Koran came to know for the first time in that gathering that her brother is being treated for depression. When she goes to the bedroom to unpack her belongings she is visible to the audience that she was placing a photograph on the side table indicating not only her knowledge of the relationship of her brother, but also as a powerful symbol of her ensuing tragic course of life.
All the three Acts are three in one. Psychic turmoil of all the characters, their pleasure and pain, frustration and evolve against the society are balanced placing them in the silhouette and the front show of the stage setting. This Juxtaposition of interior and the exterior or the front and the back stage against each other is to create a deep impression on the audience” s mind as to the conflicts that goes in their consciousness, yet how they struggle to reconcile with the stern reality of society- a reality divorced from free expression and fair play.
Samples the main character of the drama is brought in the Act II with brilliant dramatic technique in which he walks by Deed at the lonely park at round 8. 30 PM, yet not visible to the audience. He has throttled a few pegs to get rid of his depression and he divulges the fact of his coming to the park as to let someone know his story before he ends his life by committing suicide. Someone exactly listens to his story (history? ) who, in turn, is the exact cause of such wretched condition of life.
Social paranoia is what troubled Deed as he was a little more reactive to people”s suspicion about his gay relationship with Parka’s that turned him into hyper vigilant against any social threat from any quarter. Samples struggles or visibility of such relationship against the blind sensibility of average people: “They can”t see us at all, although we can see them. They must be blind” (81). Then, Samples asks Deed to close his eyes, stand behind him and kiss gently to discover: “Can you see how beautiful we are” (82)?
Through long pause and silence after this warmth of feeling of the two old lovers, fading light, slow music and then Samples”s appearance on front show of the stage to Join the gathering of his friends of Act I while the light reappears to create a sense of change of time and space, is a reliant technique of creating two distinct mental spaces into the minds of the audience: to recreate the subtlety of feelings of these two men off the glare of the everyday world in their minds and the dreary intercourse of the same world under the visibility of everyone in which hardly they could feel proud of and contented with what they are all about.
Surreptitious orchestration of pause and silence, music, light are done to heighten their speed of the stream consciousness natural to all human beings. Social pressure is so enormous that Deed”s psychiatrist could convince him that is love is the work of a devil and through regular church going alone could absolve him of such devil. Samples also believes it and so he wants to avoid showing the photograph of their love making to his own sister, Koran, who is now going to be married with Deed. On the other hand Arrant, an European immigrant, is contrasted with his Indian counter parts of gay community.
In Europe he has greater freedom of being honest to his sexual behavior but in India he might not expect the same degree of freedom: “There is such a thing as honesty. Or maybe it is the company you keep. Or maybe the company I am in” (88). Further Arrant is perturbed seeing closet homosexuals” in India and he regrets being an Indian on grounds of his vantage point of Western immigration. His statement to Bunny echoes the shifting subject of spirituality in Indian society: “l can”t seem to be both Indian and gay. But you are simply ashamed. All this sham is to cover up your shame (88).
The hypocrisy of Indian society is again substantiated through Bunny”s character. He belongs to Sikh community, yet he avoids wearing a turban as he would be subjected to stereotypical role of being a Seaward . The characters are designed skillfully representing every type and category of India gay and lesbian people on stage in an effort to producing a gay ambiance within an hour or two to show what India is passing through presently. The real plight of this marginal’s community is made clear in exact terms through Deeply”s words that it is more fear of being ostracizes or a subject of homophobia than any stigma of shame attached to them.
Basic human dignity is at stake for all these people in general. Being woman and lesbian is more pathetic in India when Deeply makes it pretty loud and clear: “It”s not shame, is it? With us? It”s fear… Of the VOLVO. 1 47 corners we will be pushed into where we don”t want to be” (89). Attain”s effort has been to widen this corner of Indian society to make it at least as large as to accommodate these innocent Boniface citizens of a sovereign country, known for its age old tolerance and universal acceptance.
Of course, India as a nation could be described in no better terms than the first address at the world parliament of religion at Chicago by Swami Vaccinated: “l am proud to belong to a nation which has sheltered the persecuted and the refugees of all religions and all nations of the earth” (Vaccinated: 3). Naturally, Attain has every reason as an artist to reinstate the glory of this great nation by upholding the cause of the marginal people toward greater tolerance and acceptance for all. Equally fluctuating is the condition of Shard”s mind after being broken from Samples.
He too wants to force his way to be straight , to be a real man only to be accepted by the society, even though he knows deep down within himself that he is as gay as a goose” and seeks the advice of a psychiatrist only to invite a fresh misery in his life. Koran still thinks wishfully of a happy bond between her brother and Shard as she recalls her own life of solitude after divorce. She also warns about the gravity of misery a woman undergoes in this country Just because of male dominance.
Shard”s decision to act like a straight might shatter a woman”s life: “And think of the poor woman. You may end up marrying Just as a cover up for your shame” (102). Bunny accepts that he is a gay man and keeps deceiving people through his constant denial and in the process all such gay people vacillates between the world of reality and the world of sham, finding no permanent anchor to embrace with fullness of heart. The last scene of Act Ill lays bare the absurdity of life of all the gay people on stage who are representative of entire gay community.
Deed is the most pathetic character not only for Deeply, but also for every viewer or reader the way he has shattered the lives of Samples and Koran. He also could not remain immune to this wretched condition of life as a closure look and a psychological delving into his character reveals that he is more sinned against than sinning. His very purpose of marrying Koran was a matter of convenience so that he could continue his love for Samples without any suspicion from any one. Certainly, in the process he could save one life at the cost of the other and the other is a woman.
Koran, while looking at the photograph of Deed and Samples kissing each other, cries out through the open window leading to the vacuous blue sky of Bombay. She must have felt the void of the sky more than anyone else who has not passed through the tormenting labyrinth of life like hers. She is that subaltern woman, conditioned to tolerate torture and untold suffering. She remembers her past life as to how she used to be beaten up by her husband ND still she continued to accept and digest all these as she believed and felt that he loved her: “l felt he loved me enough to want to hurt me” (107).
She questions Deed”s motive of marrying her and the answer comes out as her dramatic monologue that all such gay people behave in a stereotypical manner VOLVO. 1 as “we Just don”t know what else to be” (107) ! The imagery of the photograph with Deed as the best couple on the floor that appears in her mind matches with the vacuous blue sky to condense the absurdity of her life. The explosion of fireworks, colored sights and loud screams of delight from the ground floor heightens the inner turmoil of a saddest thought, perhaps churning an existential dilemma in her mind.
Deed in utter shame and disgust for life is completely broken down: “Where do I begin? How do I begin to live” (111)? All the characters on stage are suddenly plunged into existential dilemma in the world of uncertainty and absurdity of life. The height of the dilemma in the last scene is accentuated by more firecrackers and lusty yells from the wedding below. Lights are slowly fading to beckon the void while the pictures of Deed and Samples and Koran ND Samples are slowly evanescent from the minds of the audience before it is completely engulfed into darkness.
The stage setting and delineation of the pathos of the characters, here, Just reminds one the most exact definition of short story by Arbitration Étagère: Simple events of life happy or sad, Some sad strings from the train of forgetfulness, Not fraught with heavy descriptions, Not crowded with events, No advice, no philosophy Only the feeling that the story is not yet over Although there is no more to read! (Bangladesh) Conclusion: The queer characters representing both the gays and lesbians of urban diddle class India undergo a tortuous Journey of visualization due to homophobia and social boycott of such people.
Attain has been true to his calling as a dramatist to show their painful odyssey of modern India, yet how the issue escapes the thinking mass to be considered for an acceptance and a right place in the society. It”s rightly an odyssey as the victims at times turn into victimizers; thereby bringing upon them a series of miseries, little knowing what exactly ails them. The dramatist has won the heart of every one by bringing this cause of ailment, the whole truth of it, on stage with all sincerity of purpose.