Guest post by SHIVAJI K PANIKKAR, art historian and Dean, School of Culture & Creative Expressions, Ambedkar University, Delhi. This statement was written in the context of the teachers’ intervention in the Supreme Court in the appeal by religious groups against the Delhi High Court judgement on Section 377 . This statement does not form part of court documents.
You can read Ruth Vanita’s statement here.
I was born in a traditional, upper caste Hindu family and lived in Kerala till I was 22 years old, and since then shifted to study, work and live inBaroda,Gujarat. In 1975c I completed a B.A in Kerala with Economics and History as my subjects. InBarodathrough 1980s, at MS University I did another B.A. in Dance (Bharatanatyam), an M.A. and Ph. D in Art History as specialization. I was appointed as Professor in 1998. Till recently I was Head of Department of Art History & Aesthetics, Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University of Baroda. I have an experience of teaching at the University of about 25 years.
Since childhood I knew I had homosexual inclinations, and lived it secretively till the age of about 43/45 years. Since then I lived an openly gay life; a fact that I couldn’t any more hide in my personal life as well as in my professional life. It was a matter of emotional and intellectual honesty and integrity that I accepted in public my sexual orientation, and no more live a life of fear and oppression.