With the passage of The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016, transgender people will have a better chance at being integrated into mainstream leading to greater inclusiveness. Critically comment. Approach

With the passage of The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016, transgender people will have a better chance at being integrated into mainstream leading to greater inclusiveness. Critically comment.

Approach

• Introduce with the discrimination faced by transgenders

• Highlight the key provisions of the Transgender Bill

• Comment on how the provisions fall short of the intent behind the Bill

• Conclude appropriately

Model Answer :

Transgender people have been among the most marginalised sections of Indian society. Apart from struggling with the problem of identity, they have been deprived of social justice and the ability to live their lives freely and realise their potential. The Government of India has recently introduced Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016 to protect their rights and to secure their deserving place in the society.

Key provisions of the Bill:

The Bill defines the transgender person thereby leaving no scope for ambiguity.

The Bill prohibits discrimination against a transgender person and directs the governments to provide welfare schemes in areas such as education, employment and healthcare.

Offences like compelling a transgender person to beg, denial of access to a public place, physical and sexual abuse, etc. have been penalized.

Once the bill becomes law, transgender people would be allowed into more workplaces through affirmative action thereby improving the quality of life.

In this sense, the bill seems to empower the transgender persons with rights and privileges denied to them so far. However, there are many issues which have been left untouched by the bill:

The definition of a transgender in the draft bill is in stark contrast to global developments, where transgenders have been granted the right to self determine and to seek benefits according to such identity.

Definition of discrimination has not been included in the bill which provides ample scope of ambiguity.

The major anomaly in the current scenario of gender justice is Section 377 of the IPC. By choosing not to repeal section 377, the Bill fails to recognise important civil rights like marriage and divorce, adoption among others which are critical to transgender persons’ lives.

Legal protection may be a deterrent to harassment or violence. However, to erase the blight of stigma from the mindset of common people we need more focus on awareness. The bill overlooks this aspect.

Conclusion:

The Transgender Bill has a potential to bring immense change in India’s human rights movements. However, unless it addresses the important issues affecting their private lives, it will not succeed. India is within touching distance of enabling the legal empowerment of a hitherto marginalised community and it should make laws for Transgenders rights as progressive and comprehensive as possible

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