Is Transgender or Eunuch defined as one’s self identified Gender State?

SC Landmark Verdict : Transgenders should be treated as 3rd gender. Governments directed to grant them all facilities including voters ID, passport and driving licence.

Last month I wrote a detailed article as to why the discrimination against the Third gender or Eunuchs (Hijras) is not only sad and unfortunate for the Hijra community, but also the Nation. The crux of the article was : keeping eunuchs out of mainstream society not only discriminates against a fellow human being based on gender; it also deprives the Nation of the intellectual capability of eunuchs. Fortunately, in a landmark judgement yesterday, the Supreme Court bench of Justices K S Radhakrishnan and A K Sikri, recognised transgenders or eunuchs as third category of gender and directed Centre and states to grant them all facilities including voters ID, passport and driving licence.

The judgement by Highest Court of India, is not only a happy beginning for the transgenders or eunuchs ; it’s a Happy beginning for all of us. The move will not only better the living conditions of third gender in India, but it will also enrich the country intellectually by the contributions of the Third gender. Not to say, it will sensitise us about the third genders. A sensitivity which in turn, will make us more sensitive to women and girl child.

Speaking about the SC Judgement, after which Transgenders finally get formal identity in India, the SC has also directed the Centre and States to take steps for bringing the community into the mainstream by providing adequate healthcare, education and employment.

Many Newspapers are interpreting “providing adequate employment to Third gender” as the SC directing the Government to bring third gender under the ambit of reservation in Jobs (under OBC category as claimed by some reports). Don’t know what exactly the SC has said in its judgement, but providing reservation to Eunuchs in jobs is possible, just as the Women get horizontal reservation in jobs.

The SC said the Third Gender be treated as a socially and educationally backward class and be eligible for jobs and seats under the 27% OBC quota. Don’t know how the OBC quota can be effected as OBC quota is caste based and here the grouping is on the basis of gender.

The ruling also means that persons belonging to the third gender can now vote, own property and get married officially.

BTW, The SC judgement has directed the government to take steps for granting recognition to transgenders as a separate third category of gender after male and female. This means employment , admission and other Government applications will have an additional field along with Male and Female. A great move.

Emphasizing on the need to have an official Third gender, the SC also said eunuchs or third gender are the citizens of the country and have equal rights to education, healthcare and employment opportunities like other people belonging to male and female gender. The apex court also expressed concern over transgenders being harassed and discriminated in the society and passed a slew of directions for their social welfare.

Hopefully , Third Gender will define Eunuchs (Hijras) or Transgenders , as one’s self identified gender State

Unlike the general belief, Hijra or eunuch or transgender community in India, do have a voting right (from 1994). But still majority of eunuchs don’t have a voting card. Why? As voting card requires identity proof and for an identity proof, a eunuch has to prove that bodily one belongs to eunuch gender. This is a difficult thing, as many eunuchs are born men , but mentally they feel like a woman.

SC using the term Transgender in its judgment indicates that the Apex Court wants to assert ‘the state of one’s gender identity (self-identification as woman, man, neither or both)’ as the criteria of declaring a person eunuch or Transgender. Have a look at the definition of Transgender ,

Transgender is the state of one’s gender identity (self-identification as woman, man, neither or both) or gender expression not matching one’s assigned sex (identification by others as male, female or intersex based on physical/genetic sex). Transgender is independent of sexual orientation; transgender people may identify as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, polysexual, or asexual; some may consider conventional sexual orientation labels inadequate or inapplicable to them.

It’ll be good, if instead of providing opportunities in employment, the SC direct the Governments to first bring the third gender to mainstream society. And must not be too much bothered about their Economic well being. If brought to mainstream , they can excel even in normal opportunities. Directing Governments to provide employment to Third gender will unnecessarily complicate the inclusion of Third gender in mainstream society. For obvious reasons.

Comments on this entry are closed.