Trans community in Chennai oppose bill, say it curbs fundamental rights

Shankari, founder of Nirangal

Chennai: Transgender communities across India are up in the arms against the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) bill.

The bill, which was passed in Rajya Sabha on 26 November, according to activists, it takes away the fundamental rights of the sexual minorities.

“We welcome an exclusive bill for the sexual minorities, but the bill, by itself, should not oppress us,” Shankari, founder of Nirangal, an organisation that works towards the rights of transgenders told News Today.

It is to be noted that Nirangal has been conducting various awareness campaigns over the past five years in Tamilnadu about gender and sexuality rights and has voiced out their concerns about the Transgender Bill.

Shankari said that the transgender community was benefited by the National Legal Services Authority of India (NALSA) decision of 2014 which laid out equal rights for the trans and cis gender people. The Supreme Court of India declared transgender as the third gender and stated that the fundamental rights granted under the Constitution of India will be applicable to the transgender people also. “People in authority ignored the NALSA decision and created the bill without consulting anyone from the marginalized community,” she stated.

The NGO, along with the Tamilnadu Rainbow Coalition, a network of Transgender Community, has requested to make certain amendments to the bill before passing it as a law. “Punishment sentence for murder of transgender person is limited to a minimum of 6 months, whereas a murder of a cis person can amount to a minimum of 7 years imprisonment. This treats transgender people as inferior citizens of the country. Our votes matter to the government, but our lives does not,” says a dejected Shankari.

The trans activist also added that the bill restricts the trans community to live within the boundaries of their biological parents’ home. “Violence against transgender persons starts from their respective homes. Parents fail to accept and love them for whoever they are. Due to the lack of acceptance, transpersons move out and seek help from friends and their communities. It is their fundamental right to live wherever they want, once they reach adulthood. The bill takes away the basic right of transgender people,” she said.

(This article is written by Sureka Rajasekar)

NT Bureau