Towards Recognition And Identity:  The Plight Of Transsexuals in Kerala


The allegations came recently in newspapers that two transsexuals are brutally attacked by the police in Kochi. This is the current situation of transgender life in Kerala albeit the existence of the transgender policy the state triumphs.  They are being faced discrimination continuously in various forms. Apropos to this incident the allegation is charged against those who should actually assure the security of so-called sections.  Why this happens in Kerala where society is enlightened by education and reform movement?  It reveals the fact that, now a day, the right to life with dignity apropos the transsexuals are being crushed in the mainstream sphere of Kerala.

The transsexuals have been excluded from effectively participating in social, cultural, economy, politics and in decision-making sphere. The primary reason of the exclusion is perceived to the lack of recognition of the gender status of this people. It is a key barrier that often prevents them in exercising their civil rights in their desired gender. So far there is no single comprehensive source on the basis of which an evident based advocacy action plan can be prepared by transgender people or possible legal solutions can be arrived at by policy makers. Reports of harassment, violence, denial of services and unfair treatment against transgender people in the spheres of employment, housing and public accommodation have been discussed in media from time to time.

However, these people are fall under the group named LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender). They constitute the marginalized section of society in India and so in Kerala. They have been facing legal, social and economic difficulties. These people shunned by family and society alike. They have restricted access to education, health services and public spheres. Politics and decision-making processes have been out of their reach. They have very difficulty in exercising their basic civil rights. Sexual activity between two persons of the same sex is criminalized, and is punishable in incarceration. Reports of harassment, denial of services and unfair treatment against this section have come to light frequently.

The Supreme Court, in a landmark judgment in 2014, passed the ruling that in view of the constitutional guarantee the transgender people is entitled to basic rights such right personal liberty, dignity, freedom of expression, right to education and empowerment, right against violence, discrimination and exploitation and right to work. Further, every person must have the right to decide his/her gender expression and identity. This is violated by the attack of the police in Kochi unfortunately. Again in 2015, the then state chief secretary of Kerala unveiled the document of the state policy for transsexuals in Kerala by handing over its copy. Thereby the life of transsexuals is a relevant issued being discussed in Kerala society. They are bringing themselves to the mainstream sphere through their organizational efforts and assure their demand of the right life and personal dignity. Apropos the 2016 budget of LDF government may be wiped out toxicity of the existing plight being faced by transgenders in Kerala.

Dr Sunil Kumar K, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Sree Kerala Varma College, Thrissur

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