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Bihar’s new policy to allow trans persons to join the state police force is the kind of inclusion the community needs in 2021!
According to a report in the Times of India, the Bihar home department has decided to recruit trans people in the state police force. This will be done in accordance with the proportion of their population. The 2011 Census found 40, 827 transgender persons in the population of 10.41 crore in Bihar. Therefore, one seat would be reserved for transgender individuals for every 500 recruitments.
The new policy, however, is a breath of fresh air and makes the state one of the firsts to diversify its folds. A policy like this, especially after the disappointment that the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 and the revised Trans Rules of 2020 were, is definitely significant to help the community win their fight for space in society.
But the recruitment processes no doubt would be far from perfect. The Trans Bill, 2019 does not allow for self-identification of one’s gender, which was promised by the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) judgement.
This implies that District Magistrates are given the authority to poke and prod into the life of an individual to issue a transgender certificate. Thus, hindering the process of application in the police force due to the rampant transphobia in our society.
Nevertheless, 2021 saw some rainbows in the sky. The second week of January saw the Bombay High Court in a judgement allow Anjali Guru Sanjana Jaan to contest Gram Panchayat elections. It reminded the nation once again that trans women can contest elections on women’s seats. That trans women are also women.
At the same time, trans woman Sudha and Devika Akka created history in Karnataka after they won the Gram Panchayat elections. They will be working in their constituencies from 2021.
This policy decision by the Bihar Home Ministry too is a victory of the trans community towards inclusion and normalisation of their existence in the public sphere. If implemented properly, the reservation policy gives trans individuals leverage that could help the cause and give them the much-needed space in society.
Trans and queer bodies have existed from the beginning of humankind. However, the cis-heteronormative superstructure of patriarchy routinely marginalises the existence of LGBTQIA+ community.
Trans people find themselves as one of the most persecuted minority groups. It is high time every state government implements reservation policies for trans individuals, like Bihar did in one sector. And to take note of the trans struggle for liberation.
Picture credits: Photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels
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An undergraduate student of Political Science at Presidency University, Kolkata. Describes herself as an intersectional
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