Hijras threaten stir if Centre fails to amend Transgenders Bill

Telangana Hijra Transgenders Samithi here on Tuesday threatened to launch country-wide agitation if the Union government failed to remove lacunae in the Transgenders Bill which was passed in the Rajya Sabha recently and forwarded to the Lok Sabha.


Speaking to mediapersons here, Telangana Hijra and Transgenders Samithi representatives Rachana, Reshma, Simran, Bittu, Santosh, Sabera, Bakarsha and others said they have many objections to the contents of the Transgenders Bill, which has been sent to the Lok Sabha for passage. Demanding that the Centre take their objections into consideration and remove the controversial clauses immediately, the Samithi members threatened to launch nationwide agitation if the Centre attempted to pass  the Bill in toto without caring to look into their severe objections.

The bill criminalizes the transgender communities, especially since it prescribes punishment in jail for the traditional communities, who do badhai mangti and live together in communes. While the Bill is against discrimination, it does not provide penalties against discrimination or reservation to enable transgender people to battle against their socio-economic boycott. It also creates significant problems with its definition of transgender and creates scope for corruption with the bureaucracy it sets up for certification of transgender identity and welfare schemes.

Telangana Hijra Transgenders Samithi leaders said the Hijras and transgenders of south India would meet in Pune in Maharashtra State on August 12 and chalk out a future course of action and agitation if the Union government went ahead with the Bill without making amendments. “The Bill not only fails to show employment opportunities to the Hijras and transgenders, but also prevents revenue resources to them. Besides, there is a controversial clause in the Bill that Hirjas and Transgenders should live with their parents alone is very atrocious” they said. They also pointed out that while the Centre was calling upon the womenfolk in the country to remain united, the government was asking them not to unite.

Demanding that they should be given freedom to live on their own legs, the Samithi leaders lamented that the Hijras and transgenders were being insulted, harassed and looked down in the society. Stating that there was no chance of their parents and relatives allowing them to live with them, the Bill should be amended suitably to pave the way for Hijras and transgenders to live as a community. (NSS)