ECSAS 2023 – Turin 26-29 July

Labour, Love and Lesbianism: Caste-Gender Intersectionality in “Geeli Puchi” (“Sloppy Kisses”, 2021)


Negi Natasha - Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER)-Bhopal, Humanities and Social Sciences, Bhopal, India


21- Panel Title: Violence against women in South Asian countries


 My research aims to make an in-depth study of the dual marginalisation of the dalit body based on caste and gender. The dalit feminist standpoint theory emphasises the need to acknowledge the issues of “dalit women” as they were overlooked both in the Indian feminist struggle and in dalit movements led primarily by dalit men. In the paper, I aim to revise the dalit feminist standpoint theory based on the theoretical grounds proposed by Sharmila Rege and Nivedita Menon in the field of caste-gender intersectional studies. I aim to draw focus on another marginalised category of the “dalit queer”, which falls between the nexus of caste and gender. The issues faced by the dalit queer further reveal the complications in the caste-gender nexus, wherein the identity of dalit queer is subsumed or ignored within the anti-caste, feminist, and queer movements. I also aim to use Michel Foucault’s concepts of body politics and Judith Butler’s framework of feminism to reason the lack of representation of the dalit queer bodies from the dalit feminist standpoint theory. The paper particularly aims to understand and analyse the issues faced by “dalit lesbians” through the critical study of the short film “Geeli Puchi” (“Sloppy Kisses”, 2021) directed by Neeraj Ghaywan. My research aims to foreground how the film addresses intersectional complexities and oppression which arise due to untouchability, caste-based labour, and inter-caste lesbian love in twenty-first century India.