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‘They treat us like aliens’

‘Transgender’ in India usually signifies a person who does not identify with the gender he or she was born with. Often, the so-called “third gender” is maligned and discriminated against by the Indian mainstream. Women Talk Online blogger Murali Krishnan spoke to five transgenders at an event in New Delhi and asked them about their expectations from the upcoming general elections and Indian society in general.
Flora says, “Elections make no difference in my life. The political class has always shunned and looked down on us. They treat us like aliens.”


Pappi, another transgender attending the event knows that she has political rights. However, she feels, “Politicians come to us seeking votes but they do nothing for us.They don’t understand our problems or hardships. Why should we vote for them?”

For Sanjana, “the business of living itself is so taxing. We are kicked at, abused and subjected to all manner of physical violence. Has any political party stood up for us? Has any politician come forward and raised our grievances in parliament? This entire electoral process is a sham and no relevance for us.”


Mallika D’Souza recognizes the fact that people of her kind live on the margins. “Society does not recognize us. We suffer humiliation and harassment on a daily basis from the authorities and people. What can politicians do for us? We don’t even figure in their election manifestos.”


Bebo thinks that voting is not going to be of any use, “Vote in this election? You must be crazy. We don’t figure in the radar of these politicians and they have always treated us with contempt. So why should we vote? The (Indian) election commission may have got the “Other” category in voter lists but the humiliation we go through while registering our names is degrading.”

Author: Murali Krishnan

Editor: Manasi Gopalakrishnan


26.03.2014 | 11:40