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Kerala NCC’s Refusal To Include Trans People Is A Transphobic Step Back

Posted: December 17, 2020

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NCC denying inclusion of transwoman student in Kerala shows us that we may be in 2020 but our thoughts are still regressive and transphobic!

Transwomen are women. Similarly, transmen are men. The gender-binary is a harmful social construct. Why do we still have to repeat these over and over again even in 2020?

Recently, NDTV reported that the National Cadet Corps (NCC), Kerala Battalion informed the Kerala High Court that they have no provisions to include transgender individuals in their programmes. The Kerala HC was told that the NCC programmes were created exclusively for cis-girls and cis-boys. They further mentioned that they think it is the prerogative of the Central government to create a separate division for trans individuals.

The issue came to light after Hina Haneefa, a transwoman and student was denied inclusion by the NCC. She filed a petition against NCC’s exclusion of transgender persons from their programme in her college in Thiruvananthpuram. The submission was a response to the petition filed.

Transphobia in NCC’s submission

Everything about this submission by NCC completely disregards all the advances the trans community have made over the many years of struggle. It simply refuses to acknowledge the existence of trans and non-binary individuals. This flouts Fundamental Rights like the Right to Equality and the Right to Life with dignity as written in our constitution.

The first concept one is introduced to when reading about gender is that it is a social construct. This gender binary and cis-heterosexism props up the patriarchal super-structure and keeps it in place. When NCC refuses to acknowledge the gender identity of trans individuals it is reinforcing patriarchal assumptions to oppress and subjugate minority gender identities.

Their demand for a separate division for trans individuals under a ‘third gender’ category furthers the exclusionary and transphobic agenda. For some people, their gender presentation falls in a spectrum. Meanwhile, for others, their presentation exists outside the spectrum. Therefore, a category of ‘third gender’ betrays their apathy towards gender minorities.

Can they legally do this?

Contrary to their claims, the NCC is actually supposed to include trans individuals in their folds by law. The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020, (in spite of all the trans-negative elements, including the violation of the NALSA judgement on the right to self-identification) clearly states that no institution or establishment can discriminate against trans people. What even the very objectionable Trans Rules, 2020, stipulate is being blatantly flouted by NCC in Kerala.

What Hina Haneefa demanded is not to be discriminated against on the basis of her gender identity. The fact that even in 2020 people with minority gender identities are openly excluded by public institutions who tried to provide justification for the same is utterly shameful.

NCC which upholds the oppressive gender binary should realise how regressive their stance is. Going forward they should include the persecuted non-normative individuals of the society, as is their duty.

Picture credits: Pixabay

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An undergraduate student of Political Science at Presidency University, Kolkata. Describes herself as an intersectional

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