On 15th of August (Indian Independence day), five transgender women called out on the parliament for its hypocrisy on the so-called Transgender Persons “Protection of Rights” Bill on Transgender India.
On 5th of August, 2019 the lower house of India’s bicameral Parliament passed the Transgender Persons Protection of Rights Bill, 2019. This Bill will make a new law that will be applicable for India’s estimated 5 million transgender people. The so-called protection Bill disenfranchises transgender people by diluting the penalties for offences against them.
The so-called protection Bill disenfranchises transgender people by diluting the penalties for offences against them.
One of the main clauses in the bill states that, “Whoever harms or injures or endangers the life, safety, health or well-being, whether mental or physical, of a transgender person or tends to do acts including causing physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal and emotional abuse and economic abuse shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to two years and with fine.” Whereas penalties for equivalent offences against cis-gendered people is way higher.
It is unclear what Transgender Persons Protection of Rights Bill is trying to imply by diluting penalties for offences against transgender people. Endangering the life, safety, health or well-being of a person is gender neutral. Why do we need gender-based gradation on such heinous crimes? Indian society treats transgender people as sub human anyway & this bill mirrors this sentiment. Our parliamentarians are a part of our society and hence this is their way of constitutionally declaring transgender people as sub-human.
Rape is the fourth most common crime committed against women in India. Transgender women are women; transgender men are forced to experience femininity by the patriarchal society. Transgender people live on the margins of Indian society with no social or legal rights. Sexual violence is an everyday reality that most transgender people live with. It is discriminatory to let sexual offenders of transgender people walk out scot free in 6 months to maximum 2 years. Whereas, on the other hand, the country’s law states raping non-transgender women is punishable by upto 7 years to a maximum life imprisonment.
Sexual violence is an everyday reality that most transgender people live with. It is discriminatory to let sexual offenders of transgender people walk out scot free in 6 months to maximum 2 years.
People from all over the world are calling out on Indian Transgender Bill via a handle #RapeIsRape. A social media campaign was initiated on Facebook as:
“72 years since Independence, still Indian parliamentarians believe raping a transgender person is a petty crime punishable by 6 months to max 2 years. Use this frame as a protest to against this law #RapeIsRape.”
All pictures have been provided by TransgenderIndia.com. You can find them on Facebook.