Mumbai: TISS students begin battle to scuttle 'flawed' trans bill in RS

Updated: Dec 24, 2018, 11:18 IST | Pallavi Smart | Mumbai

Strongly condemning the bill, a semi-formal collective of queer and queer-friendly individuals in TISS has started a movement titled 'Rajya Sabha MPs #StopTransBill2018'

Pic for representation/Getty images
Pic for representation/Getty images

With the controversial 'Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2018 reaching the Rajya Sabha after being passed by the Lok Sabha, Queer Collective, a students' body from TISS has started a online movement against it.

Under the movement, titled 'Rajya Sabha MPs #StopTransBill2018,' the group is garnering public support against the bill via an e-mail. The group has explained their objections against the Bill on a website. Upon finishing going through the objections, one can send an e-mail to all Rajya Sabha MPs. In a statement,the collective said, "We, the TISS Queer Collective, unequivocally reject and condemn the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2018... Now, as the Lok Sabha has shown its disregard to the transgender community, we call upon the Rajya Sabha to withdraw the Bill, and demand that the Bill be re-worked in line with the NALSA judgment, incorporating the recommendations from the community as well as the parliamentary standing committee process."

Pic for representation/Getty images
Pic for representation/Getty images

Highlighting some of the key issues, the group said, "While the Bill has amended its earlier problematic definition of a transgender person, it continues to deny transgender persons the right to self-identification by forcing them to go through a District Screening Committee. The entire process of making a transgender person prove their gender identity before a committee is incredibly dehumanising.

The Bill further stipulates that a transgender person has to present a medical certificate to a District Magistrate, proving that they have undergone SRS (Sex Reassignment Surgery) in order to declare their gender, if their identified gender is male or female, wherein the Supreme Court had stated that "any insistence for SRS for declaring one's gender is immoral and illegal"." "The Bill criminalises begging and 'enticement to any form of forced labour' without recognising the 'families of choice' and the traditional livelihood of the 'Mangti' and 'Badhai toli' of the Hijra/Kinnar communities. ...Further, the Bill does not define begging or forced labour and there is a high chance of interpreting the guru-chela system of the hijra gharanas as forced labour or enticement," said the statement.

To send your protest across, you can log on to: http://bit.ly/StopTransBill2018

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