In case you are on those people who spends her waking hours worrying what will happen in the next General Election or some other pressing matter of national import, here is a public policy issue which should make you sit up. The Lok Sabha has passed a Bill which says that when a parent or immediate family is unable to take care of a transgender person, “the competent court shall by an order direct such person to be placed in a rehab centre.”

The Bill says that a transgender person needs to get a special identity card and to get such a card they have to follow a two step process. Firstly, they have to meet the District Magistrate who will direct her/him to a screening committee which will physically examine the transgender person. The screening committee will include a psychologist and a government official. Only once the committee classifies a person as “transgender” can he/she access the welfare schemes provided by the Government.

Then comes step two. “…the second step for registration as a transgender person is surgery (paid for by the state)…the Bill says that only once you surgically change your body will your gender be set right.”

The bill says nothing about the civil rights of transgender people such as marriage, civil partnership, property rights, and so on.

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