Updated: Mar 22
The Modi government introduced a bill called The Transgender Persons Protection of Rights Bill, 2019 on 19th July 2019 and passed it in the Lok Sabha on 5th August 2019 which was the same day when the government also abrogated Article 370, which pushed the issue under the carpet and hence got no reportage. Further, the bill went to the upper house and was cleared on 26th November 2019. Ironically the bill was proposed to protect the rights of the transgender community but the bill saw massive opposition itself from the transgender community. The bill comes with a plethora of problems, which can be noted under the following pointers:
The law requires transgenders to get a certificate from the district magistrate, which will make the person a government-certified transgender person. The certification of being transgender will be given by the district magistrate only after checking the genitals and physical appearance of the person. The district magistrate most likely to be a male will be checking transgenders across the nation to ascertain their gender and give them a certificate after the magistrate is satisfied with his/her observation.
The second problem with the bill is that the bill doesn’t see gender as a spectrum, rather it sees gender as binary. This means the bill believes that a person is either a male or a female. The bill attempts to stop discrimination against the transgender community as it attempts to stop sexual harassment and violence against trans people. The bill states that there would be a punishment of 6 months-2 or years for committing any abusive act against a transgender person. On the other hand, the sentence for abuse against a woman is 7 years-lifetime, whereas, for a trans person, it is way less and doesn’t even lie in the same spectrum. The government is trying to tell the people that sexual violence against trans people carries less importance than violence against women! Hence the bill which is entitled to stop discrimination against transgenders is discriminatory.
Lastly what the bill fails to propose is reservations for the trans community. The trans community has been historically ignored, abused, and humiliated for ages.
They face problems in employment, renting households, bullying in schools/colleges, and even problems while going to public washrooms. It is a day-to-day struggle for trans people to ignore the mysterious looks people give them and call them by their names and hence it has made them socially secluded and outcasts. The country has even failed to provide safe washrooms in public places.
The time has come now when society together has to stand up for transgenders and make the world a gender-fluid and positive environment for all, and stand up for trans rights as they are equivalent to human rights. The right-wing fascist forces have from time to time ignored the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community and have been ignorant of them.
TRANS RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS