Math Genius Shakuntala Devi’s Progressive Views on Homosexuality
(This story was first published on 21 April 2017. It is being reposted from The Quint’s archives to mark Shakuntala Devi’s death anniversary.)
Born on November 4, 1929, in Bengaluru to a Kannada Brahmin family, she was quite the math-magician. Famously known as “human computer”, Shankuntala Devi was known for her profound calculation skills. Right from the time her father discovered her outstanding abilities to outdo any cumbersome arithmetic problems at the age of five, Shakuntala had created wonders in her field. But it’s a lesser known fact that the holder of a world record was also an early pioneer in explicating the plight of homosexuals in her book the World of Homosexuals in 1977. To honour this woman of great wisdom, here are a few quotes from her book that last the fate of time and offer a progressive understanding about homosexuals.
The World of Homosexuals talks about homosexuality at a time when the Emergency had just ended, and was one among the many books written by her. She wrote it post her marriage and divorce with a homosexual man. This book is also considered to be one of the first studies of homosexuality in India, a country where the idea is still quite a taboo.
Shakuntala’s approach to the topic was rather simple. The book includes interviews with Indian homosexual men, along with a same-sex couple from Canada. These interviews narrate a deeper understanding of discovery, issues, societal obligations and much more.
1. Ignorance of Sexual Matters
2. On Immorality
3. Time to Face Facts
4. The Condemnation of Homosexuality
5. Acceptance Is Key
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