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Monday, Dec 06, 2021
Outlook.com
Review

Totem Weds Taboo

Making a case for same-sex marriage, via religion, custom, culture, even law at times

Totem Weds Taboo
Totem Weds Taboo
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

The story goes that Lalithambika and Mallika, two young women who loved each other and wanted a life together, killed themselves because the ‘marriage’ would not have been accepted by society. "Here are a thousand kisses for you in public," Mallika wrote to Lalithambika in red ink, and underneath, Lalithambika responded, "Come to me. I shall take you in my arms. I shall cover you with kisses. You shall sleep on my bosom and afterwards, maybe we shall have a little quarrel." Similarly, Kishori and Gita, both in their twenties, ended their lives. "I can’t live and sleep without you," Kishori wrote to Gita.

Remove the gender, and these could be what any two lovers say to each other. Ruth Vanita cites many examples. Take the story of Kiran Shaheen, one of the early women printers, and her partner, Khurshid, whose family tried to stop the two women getting together. Khurshid was locked up by her family without food, and Kiran was threatened at gunpoint. But the two women eventually managed to live together.

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