1 I discuss court cases in this book that are being heard, or have been heard, at
both the High Court and Supreme Court levels. High Courts are the courts of
states and territories in India. The Supreme Court, a federal court, is the highest
court of appeal in the country. In addition to hearing appeals against High Court
judgments, the Supreme Court also accepts writ petitions concerning human
rights and other urgent violations. The Delhi High Court ruling to decriminal-
ize same-sex sex is now, in March 2012, being appealed in the Supreme Court. I
say much more about this case, and about Indian jurisprudence more generally,
in chapter 5.
2 Michael Lambek (2010), in his introduction to a collection of essays exploring
the role of ethics in ordinary life, writes persuasively against distinguishing
between ethics and morality. However, from my ethnographic perspective—that
of analyzing a social movement whose counterforce is deployed through norms
about proper moral sexual behavior—the distinction between ethics and moral-
ity is an important one.
3 For other work in the field of the anthropology of ethics, see Das (2006), Fau-
bion (2011), Hirschkind (2006), Keane (2007), Laidlaw (2002), Lambek (2010),
Mittermaier (2010), Pandian (2009), Pandian and Ali (2010), Povinelli (2002
and 2006), and Prasad (2006).
4 I prefer describing this ethic as ‘‘radical’’ rather than ‘‘homosexual.’’ I am not
arguing that homosexuality is inherently ethical or has an especially privileged
Previous Page Next Page