Res(crip)ting the Gaze

Agency and the aesthetics of disability in ‘Animal’s People’


  • Sonakshi Srivastava Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Dwarka, Delhi, India



agency, disability, disaster, Anthropocene, body, religion, logo, simplicity, memorability, versatility, distinctness, appropriateness


The interaction between human and humans, and the environment is crucial to understand the signature of the human impact upon human bodies as well the environment.

This article takes into consideration Indra Sinha’s ‘Animal’s People’ that unravels the life of the eponymous character, Animal – a victim of a gas leak in his village of Khaufpur (alluding to the Bhopal Gas Tragedy).  Animal comes to be known so after the gas leak twists his spine, rendering him to walk on all-fours.

I will engage in a close reading of the primary text, placing it in conversation with the theories of Jasbir K. Puar, Tobin Siebers, and Rosemarie Garland-Thomson. I will investigate the porous boundaries of dis/ability in the face of Anthropocenic disasters, the aesthetics of disability politics – the visibility of the disabled protagonist who refuses to be obliterated and strikes back by negotiating his peripheral and perilous position bringing to the fore the biopolitics that plays out in the Anthropocenic age, thereby linking ecology and civilization in adamantine chains.


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An empty wheelchair set against an omnious sky