Archive for The third gender

It is Official – They are the Third Gender

Posted in Media with tags , , , , , on April 16, 2014 by swatiaiyer

After 2000 years India recognizes eunuchs as the third sex reads the news item.  Welcome news.  It is grossly unfair that people born with birth defects have hitherto been abandoned by their families to be brought up in eunuch colonies and forced to beg, resort to extortion and such like.  They have in turns been despised and feared.  No one would consider trusting them with a job partly because of prejudices, distrust born thereof or simple hatred.  They have been referred to in the Mahabharat and were employed in Mughal courts as guards to the harems.

High time we got over archaic notions and learned to accept that they are individuals with just the same rights and liberties as any other individual on earth.  And here comes the crux of the matter.  The Supreme Court in their ruling have formally recognised as a third sex and listed as a “backward” caste entitled to reserved government jobs and university places

“Backward caste”???  Where does the caste equation come into this?  Once they are recognized as a third gender, does that not make them just as equal as the other two?  As a class of people who have been underprivileged as well as persecuted over the centuries, they certainly deserve all possible help to become part of mainstream society and to lead their lives normally with full dignity.  To that extent, giving them government jobs as well as places in the universities is a great start, though it would have been better to probably ensure that they got a basic school education (how many of them have been through school to be assured of university places?) in the first place.  Economic help could be provided to families whose children have been afflicted at birth.  This might just prevent from them abandoning them to a life on the streets or to giving them up to eunuch communities.

What is being done to prevent eunuchs coming and taking away children who are born with birth defects or from forcibly castrating boys just to make them a means of earning money?  Are any steps going to be taken to ensure that these people stop resorting to extortion at weddings and birth celebrations?  What steps are going to be taken to take them off the streets and ensure that they get into regular jobs where they have to work to earn a living?  What is going to be done for those members of this group who are now adults but don’t have appropriate qualifications to enter universities or government positions?  Are any steps going to be taken to ensure that people availing of these facilities are genuinely birth afflicted individuals and not people who mutilate themselves or feign psychological problems merely in order to avail of these reservations?

A lot of questions to be answered which only the concerned implementing authorities as well as time can answer.


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