The Rights Of The Transgender Community In India
The world is finally coming to terms with gender identity and expression. However, ancient India was always quite open to the idea of accepting people for who they are, which meant that the trans community was respected and treated as an equal part of the community. They have been mentioned and referred to in ancient Indian law, classics, folklore, medicine, and astrology. During the medieval era, the trans community also held good positions in the higher court, however, something is happening in modern India that has led to laws being re-developed to ensure the rights of this marginalized group.
Indian Trans History
In ancient India, the trans community was not only treated as an equal in the society but was also respected, despite the major class difference observed both then and now. As times changed, societies have begun rejecting the community, and today, it’s treated as an outcast! They don’t have access to formal education, and decent jobs, and are treated poorly. The change occurred during British control over the sub-continent, which stripped the South Asian country of its liberal and open ideologies and led to the adaptation of Victorian ideals of morality. This was forced upon these people as it was seen as a satanic act to be liberal and queer-friendly, according to the imperialists.
The Bill Introduced In India
According to the bill introduced in India, a transgender person is someone whose gender does not align with the gender given at birth. Therefore, it takes into account trans-men, trans-women, intersex, and gender-queers. The Transgender Protection of Rights Bill was launched in 2019 and it states the following:
- The bill acknowledges the right to self-identification. However, it all goes to waste when the power is handed over to the district magistrate to issue the certificate of identity to acknowledge the person as transgender.
- The bill also makes it compulsory for the trans community to live with their parents without acknowledging the social, legal, economical, and cultural discrimination this community has been dealing with over the past years.
- The bill provides no legal process for marriage, succession, and adoption for the trans community. It turns a blind eye toward the marginalized group’s laws.
- The bill is not clear; it doesn’t state the differences between biological sex and gender identity. It damages the rights of the intersex people and the people in the trans community, which the bill claims to protect.
- The law doesn’t take into account the traditional sources of income and occupation of the trans community in today’s India. Moreover, it provides no support for their rehabilitation and integration into society.
For the Indian trans community, there is still a long road ahead of them towards acceptance in society.
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