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THE GLOOMING REALITY OF THE OTHER GENDER

From explaining the society that ‘WE’ are in the Right Washroom to having the right of getting the Right washroom, it is where the third gender’s struggle for a separate legal identity along with respect finds its way. According to Live Science, “Transgender is an umbrella term that describes people whose gender identity or expression does not match the sex they were assigned at birth.” For example, a transgender person may identify as a woman despite having been born with male genitalia. In its broadest sense, ‘Transgender’ encompasses anyone whose identity or behaviour falls outside the stereotypical gender expectations. When a child is born, a doctor says, "It's a boy" or "It's a girl. "Assigning someone's sex is based on biology -- chromosomes, anatomy, and hormones. But a person's gender identity -- the inner sense of being male, female, or both -- doesn't always match their biology. Transgender people say they were assigned a sex that isn't true to who they are. The degree to which individuals feel genuine, authentic, and comfortable within their external appearance and accept their genuine identity has been called transgender congruence. The transgender community in India (made up of Hijras and others) has a long history in India and in Hindu mythology. Indian texts from as early as 3000 years ago document a third gender, which has been connected to the hijras who have formed a category of third-gender or trans-feminine people on the Indian subcontinent since ancient times. In the Rigveda (from roughly 3500 years ago), it is said that before creation the world lacked all distinctions, including of sex and gender, a state ancient poets expressed with images like men with wombs or breasts. The Mahabharata (from 2–3000 years ago) tells of a trans man, Shikhandi. In the Ramayana (from roughly 2000 years ago), when Rama asks "men and women" not to follow him, hijras remain and he blesses them. Most hijras are assigned male at birth (and may or may not castrate themselves), but some are intersex and a few are assigned female. Being a transgender is not a curse as it’s an age old concept like other genders. A famous quote by Mahatma Gandhi is quite apt on the struggles of trans people in Indian society – “First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you and then you win.”


The Indian men and women got their independence in 1947 but it’s sad that how are transgender are still fighting for their Rights. The history shows up How transgender consistently battled to save their life. In 2014 they saw a beam of hope when our honourable Supreme Court in National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India recognized them as third gender and also guaranteed them fundamental rights. However, the happiness of the third gender was short lived because soon they realized that acceptance was only legal and not social. They understood that the society only accepts them as dancer at events or as a prostitute .They want to see them begging for their basic livelihood. The society will never treat them equal and will make them realize from time to time that they are inferior to them. The Transgender Bill , 2016 again failed to provide any clause for reservation in jobs and educational institution despite the issued guidelines by the Supreme Court in  National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India. Now what they can do? They were forced to do the work which they were doing before because equal rights became a myth for them. The society from which they were expecting support became a hurdle in the way of their success and that’s where their struggle continued instead of getting ended.


We are the so called aware and responsible citizens of the country where they have struggled for complete 70 years to get a washroom for themselves, how will the society easily let them enjoy their rights. Even after facing harassment at every step of their life whether it is at office, school, public transport etc they never lost hope .This community fixed in their mind that strength and development distinctly come through hard work and exertion and this ideology of the community worked for them. India inaugurated its first transgender school in Kerela. This no doubt added color to their sky but this was not enough. Justice KS Radhakrishnan noted in his decision that, "Seldom, our society realizes or cares to realize the trauma, agony and pain which the members of Transgender community undergo, nor appreciates the innate feelings of the members of the Transgender community, especially of those whose mind and body disown their biological sex", adding: “Non-recognition of the identity of Hijras/transgender persons denies them equal protection of law, thereby leaving them extremely vulnerable to harassment, violence and sexual assault in public spaces, at home and in jail, also by the police. Sexual assault, including molestation, rape, forced anal and oral sex, gang rape and stripping is being committed with impunity and there are reliable statistics and materials to support such activities. Further, non-recognition of identity of Hijras/transgender persons results in them facing extreme discrimination in all spheres of society, especially in the field of employment, education, healthcare etc.”


India has estimated 4.88 lakh transgender population where a single school or an act is not sufficient to improve their conditions. The only way to improve their condition is the theory of “social acceptance”. Instead of making separate schools for them, the society should be provided with gender education openly.  The theory of acceptance should come into play so that they can be ultimately admitted in normal institutions, schools, colleges, universities etc. As pen is incomplete without the ink, similarly giving rights is incomplete without the acceptance in society. Acceptance is that catalyst which can double up the speed of any social change. So, let’s pledge and wear a purple ribbon to accept everyone as they are so that their far fetched dreams could be fulfilled.


About Author



Ujjawal Aggarwal


I am law student from UILS, PANJAB UNIVERSITY and has a great passion of writing for a cause and be the voice of different communities.




About Co-Author

Gunjan Nahata


I am law student from UILS, PANJAB UNIVERSITY and has a great passion of writing for a cause and be the voice of different communities.


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