Aug 14, 2014

Devon Ke Dev: Queer India Comes to Television

Like many former British colonial possessions, India has a rather homophobic climate.  Sodomy laws were just re-instated, gay-themed movies are regularly censored, and pundits continually howl "We don't have that here!  It is foreign to our culture!"

Some writers and scholars have dared to reveal the rich history of queer Indian mythology, from gender-changing gods to kings who fall in kings, but usually they're part of the Indian Diaspora, living in North America or Europe.

Devdutt Pattanaik lives in Mumbai, where he is an expert on economics and business management.  And in his spare time, he writes about Hindu mythology.

With a recognition of gender-atypical and gay-positive Hindu mythology:

The Man Who Was a Woman and Other Queer Tales from Hindu Lore
Shikhandi, and Other Tales They Don't Tell You
The Pregnant King

His popular introduction to the god Shiva has been adapted into a television series, Devon Ke Dev...Mahadev (Lord of Lords, Mahadev), with 140 episodes so far.  The main cast includes:

1. Mohit Raina as Shiva

2. Saurabh Raj Jain as Vishnu, Krishna, and Rama
3. Alpesh Dhakan as Ganesha

4. Vishal Kotian as Hanuman

Plus gods, sages, kings, queens, demons, and monsters.

You can see some episodes on youtube.  It's in Hindi, but there's substantial beefcake and some soulful looks.  No doubt gay subtexts.

Or even texts.

See also: The Top 10 Public Penises of Hinduism