CHAPTER-1

INTRODUCTION

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The
term transgender person is generally used to describe those who transgress
social gender norms. The contemporary term “transgender” arose in mid 1990s
from the grassroots community to designate gender different people. Transgender
is an umbrella term to signify individuals to defy rigid, binary gender
construction and who express or present a breaking and blurring of culturally
prevalent stereotypical gender roles. Transgender people may live full or part
time in the gender role opposite to their biological sex (UNDP, 2010).
Transgender are variedly called in different places though they are essentially
cross dressers. Sometimes they are also referring to as “transvestites'” “drag
queens” or “drag king”. In Manipur they are identified as “Nupi Sabi” or
“Homo”. In Delhi they are labeled as “kinnars”. The transgender were socially
disadvantaged, economically and politically disfranchised.

Human
rights are the basic rights and freedom which are guaranteed to a human by
virtue of him being a human which can neither be created nor can be abrogated
by any government. It includes the right to life, liberty, equality, dignity
and freedom of thought and expression. The right to choose one gender identity
is an essential part to lead a life with dignity which again falls under the
article 21. Determining the right to personal freedom and self-determination,
the court observe that” the gender to which a person belongs is to be
determined by the person concerned”. The curt has given the people of India the
right to gender identity.

Transgender
people are people who have a gender identity or gender expression that differs
from their assigned sex. Transgender includes people who belonged to a third
gender. The term transgender is defined very broadly to include cross dressers
regardless of their gender identity. Transgender people may be identifying as heterosexual,
homosexual, bisexual, asexual etc. The definition of transgender includes
“People who were assigned a sex usually at birth and based on their genitals,
but who feel that this is a false or incomplete description of them” 

Transgender
community comprises of Hijras, eunuchs, Kothis, Aravanis, Jogappas,
Shiv-Shakthis etc. Eunuchs have existed since 9th century BC. The word has
roots in Greek and means “Keeper of the bed” castrated men were in
popular demand to guard women quarters of royal households. Hinduism, Jainism
and Buddhism – and it can be inferred that Vedic culture recognized three
genders. The Vedas (1500 BC – 500 BC) describe individuals as belonging to one
of three separate categories, according to one’s nature or prakrti. These are
also spelled out in the Kama Sutra (c. 4th century AD) and elsewhere as
pumsprakrtistri-prakrti (female-nature), and tritiya-prakrti (thirdnature). Various
texts suggest that third sex individuals were well known in pre-modern India,
and included male bodied or female-bodied people as well as intersexual, and
that they can often be recognized from childhood. A third sex is also discussed
in ancient Hindu law, medicine, linguistics and astrology. The foundational
work of Hindu law, the Manu Smriti (200 BC – 200 AD) explains the biological
origins of the three sexes: “A male child is produced by a greater
quantity of male seed, a female child by the prevalence of the female; if both
are equal, a third-sex child or boy and girl twins are produced; if either are
weak or deficient in quantity, a failure of conception results. Indian linguist
Patanjali’s work on Sanskrit grammar, the Mahabhaya (200 BC), states that
Sanskrit’s three grammatical genders are derived from three natural genders.
The earliest Tamil grammar, the Tolkappiyam (3rd century BC) also refers to
hermaphrodites as a third “neuter” gender (in addition to a feminine
category of unmasculine males). In Vedic astrology, the nine planets are each
assigned to one of the three genders; the third gender, tritiya-prakrti, is
associated with Mercury, Saturn and (in particular) Ketu. In the Puranas, there
are also references to three kinds of devas of music and dance: apsaras
(female), gandharvas (male) and kinnars (neuter).

EVOLUTION
OF TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY IN INDIA: Transgender persons had been part of Indian
society for centuries. There was historical evidence of recognition of “third
sex” or persons not confirm to male or female gender in near the beginning
writings of ancient India. The concept of “tritiyaprakriti” or “napumsaka” had
been an integral part of the Hindu mythology, folklore, epic and early Vedic
and Puranic literatures. The term “napumsaka” had been used to denote the
absence of procreative ability, presented by signifying difference from
masculine and female markers. Thus, some of the early texts extensively dealt
with issues of sexuality and the idea of third gender which was an established
thought therein. In fact, the Jain text even mentions the concept of
“psychological sex”, which emphasized the psychological make-up of an
individual, distinct from their sexual characteristics. Lord Rama, in the epic
Ramayana, was leaving in the forest upon being banished from the kingdom for 14
years, turns around to his followers and asks all the ‘men and women’ to return
to the city. Among his followers, the hijras alone did feel bound by this
direction and decide to stay with him. Impressed with their loyalty, Rama
sanctioned them the power to confer blessings on people on auspicious occasions
like child birth and marriage, and also at inaugural functions which, it was
supposed to set the stage for the custom of badhai in which hijras sing, dance
and confer blessings. Aravan, the son of Arjuna and Nagakanya in Mahabharata,
offer to be sacrificed to Goddess Kali to ensure the victory of the Pandavas in
the Kurukshetra war, the only condition that he made was to spend the last
night of his life in marriage. Since no woman was willing to marry one who was
doomed to be killed, Krishna assumes the form of a beautiful woman called
Mohini and married him.

 HISTORICAL EVOLUTION OF TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY
IN INDIA Mughal Period Hijras played a famous role in the royal courts of the
Islamic world, particularly in the Ottoman empires and the Mughal rule in the
Medieval India. They rose to well-known positions as political advisors,
administrators, generals as well as guardians of the harems. Hijras were consider
clever, trustworthy and fiercely loyal and had free access to all spaces and
sections of population, thereby playing a crucial role in the politics of
empire building in the Mughal era. The Hijras also occupied high positions in
the Islamic religious institutions, especially in guarding the holy places of
Mecca and Medina the person of trust, they were able to influence state
decisions and also received large amount of money to have been closest to kings
and queens. Thus hijra frequently state the role of their status in that
period. British Period In the beginning of the British period in Indian
subcontinent hijra used to accept protections and benefits by some Indian
states through entry into the hijra community. Furthermore, the benefits
incorporated the provision of land, rights of food and smaller amount of money
from agricultural households in exact area which were ultimately removed
through British legislation as because the land was not inherited through blood
relations.

  CRIMINALIZATION UNDER THE COLONIAL RULE
Through the onset of colonial rule from the 18th century onwards, the situation
changed drastically. Accounts of early European travelers showed that they were
repulsed by the sight of Hijras and could not comprehend why they were given so
much respect in the royal courts and other institutions. In the second half of
the 19th century, the British colonial administration vigorously sought to
criminalize the hijra community and to deny them the civil rights. Hijras were
considered to be separate caste or tribe in different parts of India by the
colonial administration. The Criminal Tribes Act, 1871, this included all hijra
who were concerned in kidnapping and castrating children and dressed like women
to dance in public places. The punishment for such activities was up to two
years imprisonment and a fine or both. This pre-partition history influences
the vulnerable circumstances of hijra in this contemporary world.

 CRIMINALIZATION AND MARGINALIZATION DURING
POST-INDEPENDENCE ERA However the Act was repealed in 1952 and its legacy
continues and many local laws reflected the prejudicial attitudes against
certain tribes, including against Hijras. Recently, the Karnataka Police Act
was amended in 2012 to “provide for registration and surveillance of Hijras who
indulged in kidnapping of children, unnatural offences and offences of this
nature” (Section 36A), in a similar vein to the Criminal Tribes Act,1871,
According to Section 36A, Karnataka Police Act, 1964, Power to regulate
eunuchs. Historical evolution of transgender community in India MUHGAL PERIOD
(positions as political advisors, administrators, coolest to kings and queens).
BRITISH PERIOD: (the provision of land, rights of food and some amount of agriculture
households) in contemporary times (Supreme Court – third sex, LGBT rights and
social procation of welfare policy and schemes for transgender people)
criminalization and marginalization post independence (the criminal tribes act,
1871 and section 36a)

1.
preparation and preservation of a register of the names and places of residence
of all eunuchs residing in the area under his charge and who are reasonably
suspected of kidnapping or emasculating boys or of committing unnatural
offences or any other offences or abetting the commission of such offences.

 2. Piling objections by aggrieved eunuchs to
the inclusion of his name in the register and for removal of his name from the
register of reasons to be recorded in writing.

 CONTEMPORARY PERIOD the transgender in India
is possibly the most well known and popular third type of sex in the modern
world. The Supreme Court declared for transgender as third gender. The third
genders in India have emerged as a strong faction in the LGBT rights. In the
contemporary time the Government of India introduced so many welfare policy and
schemes such as, census, documentation, issuing of the citizenship ID Cards,
issuing passports, social-economical development and constitutional safeguards
for the transgender people.

The
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) is a major
initiative of the 11thFive Year Plan period which brought employment
opportunities for transgender people. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty
Alleviation is the National Urban Livelihood Mission and Healthcare facilities.
The social, economic, political transformation, Housing, legal measures, Police
Reforms, legal and constitutional safeguards to prevent human rights violations
of the transgender community and institutional mechanisms to address specific
concerns of transgender people.

In
Manipur the north east state of India, mainstream society does not accept
beyond the male, female gender norm. Those who live beyond this continuum are
subject to discrimination, harassments and abuses. Such negative attitude arising
from the society is happening at work places, public places, and educational
institutions and even in the respective families and neighborhoods. Such
harassment and violence result in emotional and psychological traumas and then
impedes the lives of transgender community indeed. It is very clear that most
people from the larger community of the society does not know and has not fully
understood about the transgender community with regards to: who they are, why
they are, the way they are, what are background scenario of transgender.

On
the other hand, this socially stigmatized and marginalized group has been
contributing something to Manipur society in areas likes make up, designing,
art and culture etc. They are very genuine and excellent in these fields. Not
only these, but also there are some person who have maintained high status,
themselves being intellectuals and social minded. Nerveless, they disclose
their sexual identity and they cannot openly say they are transgender. It is
because of the stigma and discrimination imposed to transgender community.

It
will be very pertinent to be noted that the main cause of the aforesaid
disturbances and awful reaction being faced by transgender is due to the deeply
rooted gender bias and gender stereotypical norms of the society.  In the society, there is a social compulsion
and blind that these persons who were born as male, should conduct certain
activities and follow the set role and responsibilities expected out of a male
member in the society i.e. marry a woman and lead the family, so on and forth.
But in reality, most of the transgender community cannot follow this rigid
gender norm of the society as it is basic nature in contrast. When they to
attempt it, they faced a lot of problem in lives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER-2

LITERATURE REVIEW

Understanding the Hijras

The Urdu and Hindi word “hijra” may
alternately be romanised as hijira, hijda, hijada, hijara, hijrah and is
pronounced “heejra” or “heejda”. An older name for hijras
is kinnar, which is used by some hijra groups as a more respectable and formal
term. An abusive slang for hijra in Hindi is chhakka . The primary cultural
definition of hijras, however is that they begin life as men, incomplete men.
The most obvious expression of hijras as women is in their dress. Wearing
female attire and their characteristic clapping of hands is an essential and
defining characteristic. Hijras also take female names when they join the
community and they use female kinship terms for each other such as “sister,”
“aunty” and “grandmother”. Their language consists of the use of feminine
expressions and intonations.

According to UNDP (united nation development
programme) hijra is an umbrella term for all sexual minorities. It states that
hijra cultures are India’s answer to support systems for sexual minorities.

Another way of understanding hijras is by
understanding how they are different from eunuchs, transvestites, transsexuals,
homosexuals, bisexuals, intersexes and hermaphrodites. All these terms appear
to mean the same, but in fact they do not. .

 

HIJRAS IN INDIA

 

The People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Karnataka
(PUCL-K), published a monograph on the Human Rights Violations against the
Transgender Community mapping “the structural violence, the use of force by
state and civil society actors and agencies, and of the images of emancipator
struggles” of the transgender community. The report sheds light on the
mainstream society’s deep rooted fear of sexual and gender non-conformity,
which manifests itself in the refusal of basic citizenship rights to these
communities. The report also documented the brutal stories of abuse and sexual
violence which negates the claim of equal citizenship and protection for all.
It has classified the societal violence against hijras and kothi sex workers on
the basis of sites where the violence occurs as well as the context of the
violence under the following heads: 1. Harassment in public places, 2.
Harassment at home, 3. Harassment in work place, 4. Abuse/Harassment at police
stations, and 5. Rape in jails. The narratives indicate that police constantly
degrade hijras by asking them sexually implicit questions, touching their
breasts, stripping them, and in some cases raping them. With or without the
element of physical violence, such actions constitute a violation of the
integrity and privacy of the very sexual being of a person. On the basis of
other narratives, report also analyses how the institutions of the family, the
law, the medical establishment, and the media are extremely intolerant to
gender non-conformity and are actually complicit in the pervasive violence and
discrimination which hijras are subject to.

A study conducted in Tamil Nadu on the discrimination
faced by hijras in sex work, in the Indian health-care system highlighted that
the health care professionals do not know anything about them and do not treat
them like other patients. They are often addressed in a disrespectful manner
and the staffs frequently use male pronouns which they find very offensive.
When the transgender (called as Aravanis in Tamil Nadu) are reluctant to show
their ano-rectal areas, they are subjected to abusive language from the
examining physician or the assisting Para medical staff. They are admitted to the
male ward of the Sexually Transmitted Infections irrespective of their
castration status or cross-dressing. Many of them are forced to wear male or
ambiguous dress when they are in the male ward. They are also mocked and
verbally abused by the co-patients in the ward. Some patients by their
attendants even sexually harass them and usually other patients and ward staff
do not defend them in such situations. . Hijra Population The census of India
does not list hijras separately; they are usually counted as men, but upon
request they may be counted as women. It is thus impossible to say with
certainty how many hijras there are in India. Large cities like Bombay or Delhi
may have many hijras living in twenty or thirty localities; the national
estimate may be very high.

 

According to the article “The life of Transgender in
India” (November 27, 2015) by Athreye. In this article the writer clearly
mentioned about the various form of problems faced by the transgender community
like the transgender people are shunned by family and society alike, they are
restricted access to education, health service and public spaces, they were
excluded from effectively participating in social and cultural life, politics
and decision making processed have been out of their reach, transgender people
have difficulty in exercising their basic civil rights, reports of harassment,
violence, denial of services, and unfair treatment against transgender person
has come to light. The Supreme Court has given the right to transgender which includes,
right to personal liberty and dignity, freedom of expression, right to
education and empowerment, right against violence, discrimination and
exploitation and right to work. Moreover every person has right to decide his
or her gender expression and identity.

 

 

According to the article’The Socioeconomic Status of
trandgender people in India’ by ankur gupta and Ananth Govind Rajan, aug 25,
2016

Hijras are treated as social outcasts in modern
India. However, they form an ancient social group that has been recognized
for roughly 4,000 years and depicted in India’s literature and temple
sculptures. Unfortunately, the status of transgender women in India
deteriorated during the colonial period, when several laws criminalizing them
were enforced. Their status has barely improved since India’s independence in
1947. Indeed, the modern-day Hijra experience is predominantly one of
social inequality. Data suggest that the most common livelihoods for Hijras
include begging, dancing, and engaging in sex work. Multiple reports indicate
that the transgender community in India suffers from higher rates of HIV
infection, and several reports also suggest that transgender people experience
police harassment. Several fundamental policies and cultural changes would
empower the transgender community in India. On the policy level, laws
guaranteeing the Hijras’ rights would serve to improve their safety, and
affirmative action programs could help lift their socioeconomic status. In both
of these regards, we support The Right for Transgender Persons Bill of 2014, a
version of which was approved by the Union Cabinet of the Indian government on
July 2016. It declares certain forms of oppression or discrimination to be
punishable offenses by law, including forcing transgender people to beg,
denying them access to public places, or forcing them to leave their houses or
villages. Further, it seeks to amend the Indian Penal Code to include sexual
offenses against transgender people. From an education standpoint, the proposed
law also envisions the creation of a national council that would help provide
transgender students with scholarships, textbooks, and college accommodations.
However, despite its meaningful strengths, there are several critical
deficiencies in the bill. For one, it follows a regressive and very narrow
definition of transgender people, defining them as a combination of female and
male or neither wholly female nor wholly male. In addition, it relies heavily
on bureaucratic processes such as appointing a “District Screening Committee”
to issue transgender “certificates,” and it does not call for community input
to create the national council. It is believed that although the bill contains
some positive elements, it still lacks the provisions required to bring about
true change and that lawmakers will involve input from the affected community
and its activists. In addition, recognizes to help in lifting up the
transgender community and broaden the opportunities open to its members, it is
critical to incite a paradigm shift with society at large. The Indian
government and NGOs can launch advertising campaigns in newspapers and
television channels to raise awareness about the day-to-day struggles in the
transgender community. Similar campaigns in India have successfully raised awareness
about female child education, consumer rights, HIV/AIDS, and various other
social issues. These campaigns could help eradicate the prevalent stigmas
against transgender people. In a similar vein, realistic portrayals of
transgender characters in popular movies and theatre will emphasize their
existence as an integral part of society. School education can also play an
important role by including content that discusses stories and
individuals from within the transgender community, in order to sensitize
young students and remove biases at an early stage. Fortunately, recent
developments in the last couple years have signalled progress. An Indian
Supreme Court ruling allowed for the use of “third-gender” as an option on
official paperwork. The Supreme Court also urged the Indian government to
consider transgender people as socially and economically disadvantaged, so that
they can be offered benefits under India’s extensive affirmative action
programs. More recently, India received its first transgender mayor of a city,
first transgender police officer, and first transgender director of an
institute. The metro rail authority in the southern Indian city of Kochi
decided to reserve some customer care and cleaning jobs for the transgender
community, a move welcomed by many. This article offers a helpful perspective
on the state of the Hijras, and that some readers are motivated to get involved
with governmental bodies and NGOs working to improve the status of transgender
people in India and elsewhere in the world. With a holistic approach targeting
both the societal mindsets that lead to discrimination as well as the effects
of discrimination, the living conditions of India’s Hijra community could
drastically improve. As individuals, believe that our greatest contribution to
this cause is to stand up and speak whenever societal norms do not live up to
our morals

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