The Algebra of Anger.
Social Oppression and Queer Intersectionality in Funny Boy and The Ministry of Utmost Happiness
This article compares Shyam Selvadurai’s Funny Boy (1994) with Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness (2017) in order to describe the processes of discrimination against queer people within a strained social fabric marked by familial, ethnic, and class oppressions. Through Pankaj Mishra’s theory of anger in capitalist societies, Hannah Arendt’s concept of negative solidarity, and Kimberlé Crenshaw’s notion of queer intersectionality, this paper examines how the two novels situate their queer characters’ quest for sexual identity and self-affirmation against the backdrop of the neoliberal expansion of the Indian subcontinent at the turn of the 20th century into the present. Such process increased social inequalities, exacerbated class tensions, and pre-existing ethno-religious conflicts, producing interlocking systems of repression in which queer subjectivities face various forms of physical and psychological discrimination, as existential anger and the threat of violence either force them to painful separations or to rebuild new social relationships.