Anti-phobic in Words, Phobic in Deeds
Queering India’s Human Rights Politics at the United Nations
India’s international approach towards LGBTQ rights has been largely antagonistic. It has refrained from partaking in developments initiated at and by the United Nations to fight human rights violations suffered by queer people across the globe. However, it has lent its support to advocates of cultural sovereignty who have traditionally opposed LGBTQ rights on the grounds that it violates their religio-cultural values and that attempts to universalize human rights at the international level is steered by powerful states, primarily in the Global North, that are unwilling to recognize cultural sensibilities of traditional societies in the Global South. India has allied forces with advocates of cultural sovereignty on more than one occasion to counter hegemonic queer politics practiced by influential states but has done it without an explicit anti-queer rhetoric. This paper attempts to make sense of India’s political attitude towards LGBTQ rights and concerns at the United Nations and seeks to understand what it says about India’s global political image in the 21st century.