Shaleen Rakesh

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Shaleen Rakesh
Born (1970-11-12) 12 November 1970 (age 46)
New Delhi
Nationality Indian
Education Engineering from Delhi Technological University, MBA
Alma mater S. P. Jain Institute of Management and Research
Organization Naz Foundation (India) Trust
Movement Gender and Sexuality Movement

Shaleen Rakesh is a queer poet and gay rights activist[1] based in New Delhi, India. He has been an important part of the Gender and Sexuality Movement in the country for over 20 years.

Early life[edit]

Shaleen was born in New Delhi to the famous Indian writer Mohan Rakesh. His father died when he was only two and his mother, Anita Rakesh,[2] also a writer brought him up. Shaleen was a student of Modern School Vasant Vihar New Delhi. He completed his engineering from the Delhi College of Engineering and his MBA from the S. P. Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai

Gay Rights Activism[edit]

After completing his studies jumped into gay rights activism working initially with the Naz Foundation (India) Trust.[3] As part of his activism, he was the primary petitioner to challenge Section 377 of the Indian Penal code in 2001, the anti-sodomy law in the country. Shaleen was also the first activist to initiate a campaign against the psychiatric mistreatment of homosexuality in India through a petition he filed with the National Human Rights Commission of India in 2001.[4] Shaleen wrote the first queer column in a mainstream Indian magazine starting in 2002 for a Delhi-based city magazine called Around Town, which ran for two years.

Queer Poetry and Writings[edit]

Shaleen started writing poetry from an early age. He stated he was urged by his grandmother, who was also a writer. Shaleen continued writing over the years and starting blogging[External Link 1] his poems. Shaleen is Editor with the independent publishing house OpenWord[5] in New Delhi. He also writes a queer poetry column for the community blog named His poems have been published in various magazines like (PANK), Bricolage, Pink . The Lion and Antler is his first collection of queer poems, published by World View Publications.[6]


  1. ^ Pant, Aditi (9 January 2014). "Capturing emotions of the queer community". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 14 April 2014. 
  2. ^ "Books by Anita Rakesh". Work by Anita Rakesh. Raj Kamal Prakashan. Retrieved 14 April 2014. 
  3. ^ M.M Vetticad, Anna (11 February 2002). "Right Love Laws". India Today. Retrieved 14 April 2014. 
  4. ^ Naisargi, Dave. "Queer Activism in India: A Story in the Anthropology of Ethics". Queer Activism in India: A Story in the Anthropology of Ethics. Retrieved 14 April 2014. 
  5. ^ "Openword Publications". Retrieved 14 April 2014. 
  6. ^ "The World View Collective". The World View Collective. Retrieved 14 April 2014. 

External links[edit]

  1. ^ Rakesh, Shaleen. "Official Poetry Blog of Shaleen Rakesh". Poetry Blog. Shaleen Rakesh, Retrieved 14 April 2014.