Like many of you, I also thought that the transgenders in india or the Hijras in India don’t have a voting right. Today, I got to know that, it’s been 20 years, i.e. 1994, since transgenders or Hijras in India were granted voting rights.
But only a few Hijras actually feature in the voters list.
Why? As the Government imposed an direct condition for the voting right. The Government started a provision under which hijras are given Rs 1000 per month as the Government support. But to be eligible for the benefit, a hijra has to prove to the Government the hijra or eunuch status
This is kind of a dilemma as many eunuchs are bodily males. It’s a common knowledge that the transgender status is sometimes mental. That’s there are no eunuch visible manifestations on the body.
In addition to the above rule, since Hijras are not welcomed in society that’s why they don’t have identity documents required for the verification purposes for the voter card. Since transgenders in India are not employed in Government and private; with their transgender status hence they don’t have job id either. Since no Government/private sector form for any civic amenity, registration, banking, admission allows for the mention of the third gender (Male and Female Only) hence hijra community in India are almost absent from the EC’s voter list.
To conclude, it’s funny how illogical some Government policies can be. If a person falsely states him to be a Hijra or a transgender just to get Rs 1000 from the Government; then let him do that. If he’s not worried about the shun and ridicule prevalent in the society, then why is Government bothered about that. Secondly, Government with its mammoth set up, can put a detailed mental and body examination of eunuchs to ascertain the eunuch status. How on earth, the eunuch status can be proved by the eunuch himself or herself.
The nation is missing on a big human resource by not assimilating eunuchs in the mainstream. If a person wants to work in a Government job or a private sector job with his transgender or eunuch status; then why not allow them to. After all, intelligence and potential are determined by gender.
Seeing, eunuchs waste their entire life for the right for an identity, is sad. Lets raise our voice for the transgender community in India. Lets asks every political party in fray in Lok Sabha Elections 2014, to give eunuchs or hijras equal rights to vote, education and healthcare.
PS: The word eunuch or hijra brings to mind the image of a person dressed in women attire asking money at Traffic intersections and natal & marriage celebrations. The image is not wrong. But it’s not representative of the entire eunuch population in India. Just like any gender, eunuchs also have highly educated, fine english or Hindi speaking, confident individuals. It’s sad, we are not benefiting from their competence and ability.