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finally it is done. after six months of work and 140 written pages, i have finished my master thesis paper in cultural anthropology on the indian queer community, the political queer movement and the role of the internet within the community as part of my M.A. at the University of Munich. I would love to get feedback on it, if anybody is interested in reading it. It is written in German (mostly) and not yet available in English.

… and here it is:

Master thesis paper Queer in Indien

please cite as following: Geist, Janina. 2008. Queer in Indien. Selbst- und Fremdkonstruktionen indischer Queers in Politik, Gesellschaft und Medien unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des Internets. Magisterarbeit am Institut für Ethnologie und Afrikanistik der LMU München. München. Elektronisches Dokument. [Abruf: x.x. 2xxx]. URI: <https://javeja.wordpress.com/2008/10/20/master-thesis-paper/>   München, Oktober 2008.

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finally i am proud to say… i have managed to get 21 interviews done for my research… yippeehh!! 🙂

now i have left delhi and will return in two weeks to germany to write up my data in my final master thesis paper…

today was my 17th interview on my research on the queer community and the internet usage… so far it has been going quite well… let´s see if i can get 20… that would be great… i will keep you posted…

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i am actually very excited today because i am meeting up with Sangini Trust tomorrow… Sangini Trust is an lesbian organisation in Delhi that provides several projects to the community…

as some of you may know i am currently doing research for my master thesis in delhi on queer spaces on the internet and the use of internet as a tool to connect to various other groups (e.g. queer community in usa or europe) also interesting to see how much queer people being in the diaspora have an effect and influence on the scene here in india and vice versa. i am using the term queer in parenthesis here… since it´s not always fitting and doesn´t mean to everyone the same thing. for my research i will mainly talk to “gays” and “lesbians”, again in parenthesis, because those labels don´t fit in general either about their experiences in delhi, their use of the internet, their lives etc. in how far create the various cities in india spaces for queer people that can live in a way which is not possible in rural areas… in how far are the communities (if you can speak of a community in the first place) confined to specific cities, regions, groups… or are different groups fragmented… ?

it will be very interesting to get in touch with various people on that matter… i will be supporting Sangini as a volunteer from october onwards. for my master i will try to conduct interviews and speak informally to “queer indians”… it will be also very cool going to some bars and nightclubs on certain queer nights…

on orkut… the online-community by google that is used very widely in india… it was already very interesting to note various communities like: lesbians in delhi, indian lesbians, queer india, queer indian liberation front, gays, queer india, gays in bangalore… etc. what i have noticed however so far is that most communities receive a huge amount of spam mails regarding sexual topics and the discussion between members of the groups is often (sadly) non-existent… so far i haven´t contacted anyone directly… but i was thinking on maybe sending some mails to certain people and tell them what i am trying to do for my master thesis…

anyway so far… so good… i will keep you updated…

i just found out something outrageous. at my university at home in Munich, (the LMU Munich) they sent emails to alarm the personnel to be in altertness about potential islamic fundamentalist students. If people behaved “strangely” or read the accordingly literature the staff should report this to the university administration. it is fucking unbelievable. You can not report someone just out of mere suspicion. I quote the original german email from the post “Hohe Wachsamkeit” from ethno::log: for original post click here

“Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,

der islamistische Terrorismus stellt weiterhin die größte Bedrohung der Inneren Sicherheit der westlichen Staaten und damit auch Deutschlands dar. Aus Sicht der Sicherheitsbehörden besteht eine erhöhte abstrakte Gefährdung.

Wie Sie Presseverlautbarungen vom Wochenende entnehmen können, wurden Anschläge von Islamisten auch für die Bundesrepublik und in Österreich angekündigt. Auch die gescheiterten Kofferbombenanschläge auf Regionalzüge am 31. Juli 2006 in Dortmund und Koblenz sind ein Beleg dafür, dass auch Deutschland nicht nur Rückzugs- und Ruheraum, sondern Anschlagsziel für islamistische Terroristen ist.

Es ist also hohe Wachsamkeit geboten.

In diesem Zusammenhang sollte auf Hinweise auf Studierende, Mitarbeiter oder sonstige Gebäudenutzer geachtet werden, die sich durch besondere Verhaltensweisen, wie z. B. einen Bruch im Lebenswandel, Gewaltbereitschaft, radikal-verbale Äußerungen oder Beschäftigung mit einschlägiger Literatur auffällig in Richtung islamischer Fundamentalismus verändern.

Ich darf Sie bitten, verdächtig erscheinende Wahrnehmungen, die Rückschlüsse auf eine islamisch-fundamentalistische Haltung zulassen, unverzüglich hierher mitzuteilen.

Bitte informieren Sie Ihre Mitarbeiter entsprechend.

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Mit freundlichen Grüßen
[Name entfernt]
Ltd. Regierungsdirektor”

also there are several news report on this (in german). justbe. made a very good overview about the media coverage (so far): Please click here

To create an atmosphere of suspicion where people are differentiated because of their religious beliefs or interest in muslimic culture and literature will only create more hate and violence and not solve a damn thing. i am convinced “fighting terrorism” can not be achieved that way. intercultural dialogue, tolerance and respect of eachothers difference in an non-violent context seem to me far better choices (sounds similar to the Gandhian philsophy) but it will be quite useless to try to convince the conservative bavarian CSU from this point of view because they don´t get it.

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