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Rajasthan HC Verdict Recognises Trans Community As Socio-Economically Backward Class – Time To Get Intersectional

This was decided in a petition filed by Ganga Devi, the state’s first transgender person to be appointed as a cop.

The Rajasthan High Court recently passed a judgement mandating the state assembly to grant the transgender community the status of a socially and economically backward class. The High Court noted that a significant amount of time had gone by since the NALSA judgement by the supreme court. This was decided in a petition filed by Ganga Devi, the state’s first transgender person to be appointed as a cop.

The move is in line with a series of trans-affirming judgements by Indian courts and state measures. In the past, the state government has taken several steps in this direction by setting up a trans welfare board and making it easier for transgender people to acquire ID cards in accordance with the NALSA judgement.

Ganga Kumari has been involved in legal battles previously about their identity with regards to their selection for the Rajasthan Police force as a constable. A cursory look at that case reveals the problem with the state’s and Rajasthan High Court’s understanding of gender. The case focused purely on their identity as “third gender” or a “eunuch” as a separate gender category even though she had applied for the role of a woman constable.

The case didn’t identify her as a woman constable but created a separate category for her hence only legalising and legitimising Ganga’s exclusion from womanhood.

Similarly, in all subsequent measures there has been no acknowledgement of the individual gender identity of trans people in the state and they continue to consistently confuse trans with intersex.

Then there is also the issue of this judgement not recognising the caste system within the community itself. It is ignorant of trans people who face setbacks both due to their gender nonconformity and due to their caste. This concern has been raised time and again trans activists across the country.

While this step will undoubtedly create a plethora of opportunities for the community it is also one more legal avenue where the community keeps getting treated as a monolith and individual aspirations of trans people are ignored.

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Shivangi is a writer, poet, political activist, and a student of English Literature in Delhi. She writes primarily in Hindi and Bhojpuri and occasionally experiments with English and Urdu.
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