Queer historian Saleem Kidwai passed away on 30th August, a week before the anniversary of Sec 377 being read down on 6th September. On this episode of Pride & Prejudice, our reporter Suryatapa Mukherjee speaks to Arif Zafar, an activist with the Naz Foundation International, about his passing.
On one hand, Arif is mourning Saleem’s loss, his friend since the 80s. On the other hand, he is celebrating decriminalisation as he was jailed under sec 377 in 2001. The legal battle by the Naz Foundation was a result of this arrest.
We read Saleem’s magnum opus with Ruth Vanita, ‘Same-Sex Love in India: Readings from Literature and History’ which was presented as evidence in the case against sec 377. We also reflect on his lesser-known contributions to the community, as well as Saleem’s own arrest in Canada at a gay bar in 1977 in a massive state crackdown.
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