Is Indian Society Doing Enough For The Transgender Community
Calling ourselves as law abiding citizens and a specified and independent
part of the mainstream Indian society is not enough and falls short when itcomes
to certain issues prevailing in the very society in which we were born, are
breathing and will grow old. One of these problems is discrimination against the
transgender community in our country.
As a matter of fact, the transgender community in our nation has had to face
numerous instances of discrimination and severe segregation whether or not; it
was related to exercising the rights, the question of their privacy, their
safety and hereby specifying about the safety of transgender women. This is the
keynote affair for which the people of this country have to oppugn.
Our country has recently been named world's most dangerous place for women,
where four women are raped every hour as per the research and stats, let alone
the conditions for transgender women.
Not only is rape an issue pertaining here and becoming voluminous with each
passing day but also, there are other matters of concern as well viz. the
question of the fundamental rights. Each and every citizen of our nation
deserves and is entitled to right to equality under Article 14; Article 15 talks
about the prohibition of discrimination on the ground of religion, race, caste,
sex or place of birth. Another one, Article 21 ensures the right to privacy and
personal dignity to all the Indian citizens. It is to be noted that beyond the
categorization of the rights being restricted to only the citizens of our
country, the Constitution of India makes no further discrimination among the
right holders. However the quite genteel lot of ours lags behind when the
transgender community is continued to be ostracized if the same is concerned.
We are all well aware and versed with the events and upshots around the world
because of our exposure to various social platforms. Conversely, not the entire
clique knows about the first transgender lawyer of India. Her name is Sathyashri
Sharmila who hails from Tamil Nadu. I have struggled a lot in my life, she
quoted in a recent interview.
The 36 years old envisions a society where people from her community can serve
at higher positions across the country. This will not be practically possible if
our nation does not eliminate the discrimination against Sathyashri's community. It is us; the youth of our nation who can and should help her turn
her aspirations to a sweet reality.
Another case of discrimination can be noted in Jalore in the state of Rajasthan
where Ganga Kumari had filed a petition in the court when she was denied the
opportunity to be appointed by the Jalore police superintendent, even after
clearing the related examination.
Hence this attests that providing a third slot in the examination form was just
not enough for her recognition. The discrimination in the minds of people
against Ganga, Sathyashri and many more can be can only be wiped off if the
Indian society changes its mind-set and opens its heart and soul to them. In
Ganga Kumari's case the Honourable State High Court directed the Rajasthan
police and issued appropriate commands after which she was appointed as
country's first transgender women constable. This decree was issued by Justice
A positive action in this pretext is the step taken by the Central Board of
Direct Taxes (CBDT), which issued a notification recently thereby allowing
transgenders to be recognised as an independent category of applicants for
obtaining a Permanent Account Number (PAN), for their respective tax related
transactions. There will now be provided a new tick box. But the question is;
will the new tick box be enough?
In the lawsuit, National Legal Services Authority vs. Union of India, the
judgement by the Supreme Court directed the Union Government to look beyond the
binary. The court also unanimously passed the order on Article 377 of the
Constitution of India making the law more inclusive for everyone, including the
people from the transgender community.
We should certainly hover over the positive sentiment; our country has developed
for the transgender community gradually. Our nation can audaciously take pride
in many 'firsts' in the trans community; two of them already stated.
If it were to compare, even the United States is in a dangling situation between
allowing and preventing transgender people from joining the army based depending
However, this is not enough and the struggle still goes on; as stated by Meera
Sanghamitra who is a member of National Alliance for People's Movement and a
Trans women. She denies addressing her gender as third. In an interview she
pointed out, We are all for diversity for gender, not hierarchy in gender. If we
are the third gender, who decides what the first and second genders are?
Thus concluding, it is we who have to think through and act for them now so that
they are capable enough to act for themselves in the future. We have the duty to
empower them and save them from any kind of segregation and bigotry, be it
simple or harsh. It is all about a simple expression- 'You are more than the
sex you're born with'
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