Foregrounding Alternative Sexuality: A Comparative Study of Mahesh Dattaniâ€™sÂ On a Muggy Night in Mumbai and Tony Kushnerâ€™sÂ Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia On National Themes
Keywords:Alternative Sexuality, Marginality, Resistance, Dattani, Tony Kushner, On a Muggy Night in Mumbai, Angels in America.
Alternative Sexuality and Queer both refer to alternate patterns of sexual behaviors that are not accepted in the society. Alternative Sexuality refers to â€œbehaviors, identities and communities that stand in contrast and/or opposition to socially and culturally dominant sexuality(ies)â€-heteronormativity (emphasis added). The societal attempt of codifying â€˜heterosexualityâ€™ as a norm, unveils the murky power of dominance. Alternative Sexuality challenges the concept and Alternative Sexual Practice makes. In the society alternate or queer sexual practices like homosexuality (lesbianism and gay sexuality), bisexuality and transsexuality, which are, in short, termed as LGBT, are viewed as aberration.
Mahesh Dattani once remarked, â€œBeing gay in India is still a huge tabooâ€. Dattaniâ€™s On a Muggy Night in Mumbai is a successful protest play trying to decentralize the hegemony of â€˜heteronormativityâ€™ and normalize homosexuality. Angels in America by Tony Kushner is a critique of the American society which politically ostracized the LGBT communities accusing them for spreading AIDS and other venereal diseases during the 80s and 90s. This paper is also an attempt to interrogate what Alternative Sexuality is and how both the playwrights Tony Kushner and Mahesh Dattani have utilized this theme in their respective plays Angels in America (1993) and On a Muggy Night in Mumbai. The present paper seeks to examine how both Kushner and Dattani in their plays have tried to subvert the dominant heteronormative sexual practice in the society and articulated voices of protest seeking justice in favor of the LGBT communities.