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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 Dinesh Mehta.

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 on gender-by-birth.
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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