chapter  III
20 Pages

Caste and sexual politics

Law and media as constitutive sites

This chapter attempts to constitute the idea of public space and to identify the public sites of sexuality in the socio-political context of Kerala. It looks at the ambivalence around caste in postcolonial Kerala's public space despite its otherwise highly politicised nature. The chapter attempts to understand the exchanges and parallels between the High Court judgment in the case, media reportage and a cinematic narrative about the incident. It discusses the contestations around the 'woman' sexual subject in the light of the analysis of the Suryanelli case. It also discusses some of the specificities of this public space which reinforce hegemonic ideals of caste and gender in many ways. The chapter embarks on an analysis of a film based on the incident to bring out the interaction between various sites in the public space with reference to the case.