Our Voices The Orinam Blog

In memoriam: Priya Thangarajah

Priya Thangarajah photo
Image source: groundviews.org

I know Priya from activist and social spaces in Delhi. She was exuberant, full of life and energy, inspiring fellow activist and friend. She was full of good cheer, happiness and had that unique ability to be on the visionary side of things, as well as the frontlines of activism.

Priya was sharply intelligent, defiant and provocative in her thinking. Sometimes her clothes reflected some of this defiance too. She was glamorous, scintillating and bold in her appearance.

Priya was not one to be cowed down by peer pressure and social taboos. She had the personal courage and conviction to live a life on her own terms.

Her sudden death is a deep loss to the legal and activist fraternity in South Asia and the world at large. I mourn her death and seek solace in her words published recently in Ceylon Today on 2015-09-16.

“As provided for in constitutional norms, the country must acknowledge the right to dignity, due process and equal protection to all its citizens, and therefore the State cannot exclude the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community from services provided by State institutions, lawyer Priya Thangarajah said.”

Ed:  We invite friends of Priya Thangarajah to share their memories as replies to this post. See more tributes on Kafila and Ground Views.

We also refer readers to Priya’s LASSNET piece, co-authored with Ponni Arasu, titled Queer Women and the law in India: The writ of Habeas Corpus. The essay takes a critically important look at laws other than Section 377 that have implications for queer women in India.

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