top of page

Situation of Transgender in India


Who is Transgender?

In simple words, transgender people, whose gender does not match the gender assigned at birth. It includes transmen and transwomen and people with social culture identify whom we are known as a eunuch.

Transgender in Ancient Period

The eunuch has been a part of this subcontinent ever since Civilization began. In an ancient time treatise on human sexual behaviour was written between 400 BCE and CE. Sometimes hijras play a very important role in Hinduism including in Mahabharata and Ramayana period.

Lord Shiva became half a woman by incorporating his wife into himself, which is called ardhanareshwar. This story has great importance in the community of the eunuchs. In Mahabharata period Arjun took a form of eunuch as Viharnala and Shiikhandi who played an important role in Mahabharata and Ramayana Lord Shri Ram came from vanvas he gave a boon to the hijras community. They are also considered auspicious for blessings.

In the Mughal Era between 16 to 18-century eunuchs held an important place in a Mughal court and administration works. British Era (19 century) Britishers from various laws announce hijras community criminalize and radical but these laws are repleaded after India gained Independence.

Transgender in other countries

The world rapidly accepted a third gender definition like Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Germany, New Zealand and Australia. In all these countries hijras have legally identified as a third gender. The third Gender called by different names in different countries like in Mexico third gender is known as Muxe. Sometimes it is also called The Two Spread People of indigenous in North America.

Situation Of Transgender in Indian Society

There are many rights provide to transgender but they facing problem difficulty to do extension those primary civil rights. They are also human beings and they have the right to live in a society instead of being insulted by their family and Society. They would be dishonoured by their parents and the society would insult them. Our society restricted them to study, schools, health services, reached parks and gardens and shopkeepers make unfair track trade practices with them and they do not get any respect and the work in the society.

If a eunuch is born in someone's house, then they immediately after their birth hand over to the eunuchs' community. If any family keeps their eunuch child in the house and tries to educate them, then the whole society starts boycotting their family and for the same fear, people do not keep the eunuch in their family and dishonour them.

One of that story locomotion among the people, they are considered very auspicious for a blessing because in the ancient period it is said that when Shri Ram came from vanvas he gave a boon to the hijras and it also seems that evil eyes of the eunuch are considered very unfortunate.

When the eunuchs go out on the road people's stare and laugh at them, therefore feels very ashamed which describes the very bad situation of eunuchs in India. But the situation has been changed in case of Nalsa v/s Union of India, in this case in 2014 bench of two judges K.S Radhakrishnan and an A.K Sikri of judges of Supreme court and give their judgement on third community "The supreme court said that the third gender community and entitle to basic rights such as freedom of expression, right against violence, right to education, right to personal library, right to empowerment, and the Supreme Court issued following directions to State and Central Government:

  1. Hijras apart from binary court gender, be treated as "third gender" to safeguard their rights under part III of our constitution and the laws made by the Parliament and State Legislature.

We directed the Central and the State Government to take steps to treat them socially and educationally backward classes of cities and extended all kinds of reservation in case of admission in educational institutions and for public appointments.

  1. Central and State government are directed to operate separate HIV service Centre since hijras/transgender face serval sexual health issues.

  2. Centre and State Government should seriously address the problems being faced by hijras/transgender such as fear, shame gender, dysphoria, social pressure, tenancies etc.

  3. The Centre and State Government should take proper measures to provide medical care to TGS in the hospitals and also provide them with separate public toilets and other facilities.

  4. The Central and State Government should also take steps for framing various social welfare schemes for their betterment.

  5. The Central and State Government should take steps to create public awareness so that TGS will feel that they are also part and parcel of the social life and not be treated as untouchables.

  6. Centre and State Governments should also take measures to regain their respect and place in the society which once they enjoyed in our culture and social life.

After Supreme Court judgement, the status of transgender did not improve and they were being treated like they were treated before the Nalsa v/s Legal Services Authority after the judgement was passed TGS went to the district court for identification in the official document but the court rejected their plea and asked them they did not accept their plea without the certificate.

In 2015 Human Rights released the report that the police misbehaved with tags and after 2 years of this judgment National Institute of epidemiology released the report that the police and law enforcement officials of 17 states misbehaved with 60,000 TGS. Nalsa judgement was passed in 2014 but this judgment was not implemented.

Looking at this situation Central Government has been present Transgender Bill in Lok Sabha 2019 and it was passed by Rajya Sabha on 26 February 2019 even member said it was passed to committees for scrutiny. Many times it was presented in Lok Sabha but every time it was sent for further scrutiny.

Transgender rights have been protected by this act. This act mandate that each transgender person shall identify based on the certificate which is issued by District Magistrate. This act bans discriminate against transgender in educational institutions, governmental establishments, and retaining property, using healthcare and public services such like metros, autorickshaw, policies etc. but this act does not enumerate punishment for discrimination. If any person causes harm to the trans person shall be liable for imprisonment of 6 months which is extended to 2 years. This bill also provides National Council for a trans person who gives suggestions to the government for improvement of transgender. It is also mentioned in this act when any family or trans person refuses to take care of a trans person, so the government provides rehabilitation centres for them. The government also take the step to secure and effective participation in social and public activities, the welfare of them, protect their rights in the interest of transgender persons, formulate welfare schemes, etc. This act also takes steps in the area of the household, according to this act "No trans child shall be discriminated from their parents or family members except an order of a competent Court".

Vidushi Singh

Banasthali Vidyapith

bottom of page