•  •  Dark Mode

Your Interests & Preferences

I am a...

law firm lawyer
in-house company lawyer
litigation lawyer
law student
aspiring student

Website Look & Feel

 •  •  Dark Mode
Blog Layout

Save preferences
An estimated 4-minute read

Case For Protection of Rights of The Third Gender

 Email  Facebook  Tweet  Linked-in
The Preamble to the Constitution of India says  that we the people of India having resolved ourselves into a sovereign socialist secular democratic republic also resolve to secure to all its citizens justice economic, social and political, liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship, equality of status and opportunity, to promote fraternity assuring the dignity of the individual and unity and integrity of the nation. 

But when it comes to actually enforcing these ideals stated above and the enforcement of the inalienable fundamental rights the definition of the term citizens narrows down to the detriment of the third gender. In fact we fail to recognize them as human beings.

The difficulties faced by this class of citizens in the country is perhaps greater than any other group or marginalized section. People practice uninhibited discrimination against this class of citizens which is evident from the fact that it is very difficult to find members of the third gender in any other profession with the exceptions of begging, prostitution or in some cases extortion.

For other classes that show the slightest tinge of  backwardness either political, social or economical we have some kind of an affirmative action policy aimed at their upliftment be it reserving constituencies for people of certain castes/ tribes or nomination of seats in the parliament or legislative assemblies in the case of Anglo Indians to reservation in public employment, for admission in educational institutions and many other kinds but none for this class of citizens.

The obvious reason is that we don’t recognize them not just as citizens of this country but human beings in the first place. We shun them alienate them adopt a violent attitude towards them which compels them to move around in groups for their own security.

Moreover our Constitution prohibits discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth but ironically the application forms of most of the universities or even government jobs do not have the third option under the heading gender which is nothing but a manifestation of the denial of the rights of the third genders and not recognizing their existence.

This shows that either they do not exist for us or that they do not have the right to access all these facilities, that they are being denied the  opportunities for self improvement or further growth in life. All this is happening not because on any fault on their part but because they’ve been born with a different natural condition .There is absolutely nothing unnatural about this condition. In fact this condition has been recognized in Hindu mythology as well where Shiva who is one of the most important deities of Hindus is portrayed as Ardhanarishwar (half man and half woman).

The Parliament of India is the Supreme law making body in the country and has been passing laws for the protection of the rights of different sections of the society whenever their rights have been violated or their peaceful existence. But despite their having existed since ancient times and even being recognized in Indian mythology and religious scriptures there is no law in India which recognizes the rights of the third gender or for protecting them from violence.

You see in  India it is a crime to call SC/ST’s by their caste name and our laws prescribe certain minimum punishment for doing so but when it comes to the third gender our lawmakers are blissfully indifferent.

We see  people call them by different derogatory names but they cannot complain against this kind of harassment because the policemen themselves are the ones who would be guilty of this offence.

We have the Prevention of Atrocities Act along with a number of other laws aimed at protecting them positively discrimination in their favour because they are supposed to belonging to backward sections of the society.

But if look at the condition of the third gender there would be absolutely no one who would doubt that no other section of the  society is as backward as they are, no other section is forced to  leave the family the moment their gender becomes known, no other gender is so vehemently disowned by the society as they  are.

We won’t find them in schools, in offices , in parliament or any other place important or otherwise where any kind of productive or constructive work is done so that they are able to afford a decent sum of money to be able to maintain a dignified standard of living and contribute in some way to the country.

The Supreme Court has in several cases held that Right to life under article 21 means not just animal existence but a meaningful and dignified existence.  This class is not just socially backward but also economically and politically backward. The most concerning aspect is the political underrepresentation of the third gender. They are not to be found  in parliament, state legislature or even at the  local self government level. They don’t have any National commission to represent their interests like we have for other marginalized groups.

We treat them as if they are invalid, we just refuse to recognize them as human beings. It is said a nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its most vulnerable.

It's time we start taking steps to integrate them with the rest of the societies and the best way to do this would be to start granting them admissions in normal schools and colleges where they grow up with the others who are supposedly normal and receive proper education as others and contribute to the national income and be able to lead normal lives like others do.

It is only when we grant them equal rights as other ‘normal’ people will we be true to the spirit of the constitution and be a truly liberal democracy.

No comments yet: share your views