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Human Privileges And Legal Position Of Eunuchs Sociology Essay

Eunuchs are attended to by many names: hijra, kinnar, transsexuals, the 3rd intimacy, or the other sex. The very first image that comes to our mind whenever we think of eunuchs is that of a man-body clad shabbily in a sari. The face caked in whitish natural powder and cheeks circled with cheap rouge, scarlet mouth, and dark kohl-eyed people - and the ludicrously unusual travesty of womanhood clapping clamorously in a occupied market hustling for five or ten rupees.

Eunuchs in India are deprived of normal rights as our legislations codes discover only two sexes: male and female. Eunuchs are usually dressed up as females, take up feminine brands and known as "she" and "her". They are still fighting because of their protection under the law to education, jobs, voting and most importantly, social acceptance.

Eunuchs reside in their own communities - a separate world of their own. They may have their own Gods, they follow their own laws and regulations and everyone who belongs to the world has to abide by these regulations. Among these ostracized eunuchs, most of them are castrated, few are genetically blessed hermaphrodite, that is, they may have genitals of both sexes, and few are transvestites, that is, a female mind trapped in male body or vice versa.

History of eunuchs is eons old. In earlier times, these were appointed as guards of kings' harems to all the sexual relationships with royal queens. This erotic perversion still is present in society and they're pressured to live their lives in isolation. Now the survival instincts drive those to unsafe and insecure edges of gender trade, extortion and criminal offenses.

The American Traditions Directory identifies Eunuch as " a castrated man utilized as harem attendant or a guy or a boy whose testis are non-functioning or have been removed.

There are three types of Eunuchs:

People who are delivered with deformed genitalia,

Hermaphrodites, that is, individuals who have both male and female sex-organs,

Homosexual cross-dressers

Some men who undertake castration to be accepted in Eunuch community.


A Eunuch is not really a male because of the following:-

They have imperfect or absent men sex-organ

They don't have sexual desire for females as men will often have,

They have female labels, walk like female, dress like feminine and behave like girl.


Eunuchs are not feminine because :-

They don't have female reproductive organs, and

They cannot endure children.

Eunuchs participate in a separate category of making love, that is third gender. But the condition is that the 3rd gender is not recognized by legislation or the Indian contemporary society. So the Eunuchs or the 'Hizras" have no legal individuality.

Since the law identified only two love-making- categories, that is male and female, let us learn how sex is set. Sex is normally determined at beginning by focusing on external genitalia. That is difficult in two particular cases

Where the intimate organ is ambiguous, and

Where the external genitals do not correspond to chromosomal gender.

For example, people with Androgen Insensitivity symptoms (AIS) have male XY chromosome but female external genitalia. The point to be observed is that determining sex by only taking a look at external sex-organs is an erroneous inquiry because it ignores other significant biological making love characteristics, including reproductive love-making glands, internal sexual organs, human hormones and secondary erotic features.

In THE UNITED STATES, it is estimated that at least 80, 000 men are castrated each year because of this of prostrate cancer. Similar is the position in India. The question arises as to which category they belong now. External genitals always determine gender in India. So lack of testis would mean lack of maleness or male individuality. Heading by the tight definition of male, one who has lost his testis will eventually lose his legal position as man. But he is also not a female. So where category we should put him now?

So the situation is:-

The classification or the function of willpower of intimacy is dominated by majority view, and

the majority view of identifying sex is not really a perfect one,

the third love-making is not at all acknowledged by the legal system, and

This lack of recognition assists to isolate the transgender community specially the eunuchs in subject of civil rights.

Are Hijras given birth to or made?

The term hijra is often translated as "eunuch" and the archetypal hijra is raised as a man and undergoes ritual removal of the genitals to become hijra. However, anthropologist Serena Nanda explains that many hijras result from other sexually ambiguous backgrounds. They may be blessed intersexed, be given birth to female or male and neglect to develop completely at puberty, or be guys who choose to live on as hijras without ever before starting the castration method.

The ethnical category "hijra" appears to be a magnet for a variety of erotic and gender conditions: ambiguous intimate anatomy, impotence, infertility, homosexuality, while others, which might not exactly produce an analogue in Western cultures. Nanda writes that the crude surgery is done by 'dais' (country nurses) whose 'training' is situated entirely on experience. The eunuchs call this 'procedure' nirbaan meaning 'mukti' because the act implies a 'move' of the individual in one 'life' to some other. Indian legal statutes do not enable such obligated castration of men and therefore, there is absolute secrecy about the action of 'nirbaan. ' The operation is definitely conducted between three and four before the crack of dawn, although it continues to be dark, and no-one else however the dai-maa and her associate is present because of this 'ceremonial' ritual. The complete action is given the colour of a spiritual ritual like the popularity of deeksha for a better life in the next birth purely to be able to veil the fundamental barbarity and brutality of the custom and make it seem both satisfactory and 'natural. '

In 1990, Dr. B. V. Subramaniam of the Surat Medical College wrote a newspaper predicated on his research on the making of a eunuch. The analysis reported that most eunuchs in India were the result of forced castration. The technique adopted for the surgery is crude, unscientific, threatening to the fitness of the patient and done in the most unhygienic conditions. The genitals of the normally created male baby are slashed off with a blade dipped in boiling olive oil. After dressing the wound, a nail with a string attached is linked with the midsection and drilled in to the stump, which would, with medication and time, start to look relatively like a female crotch.

In cases of castration, Subramaniam's paper says that chest develop because the seating of the man hormones - testicles - has been removed. When the female hormones dominate, the growth of secondary intimate characteristics, such as expansion of undesired facial hair, is restricted. So, also the regular change in voice. Castrated or not, eunuchs are sexually dynamic. As they cannot form seductive relations within the guidelines of either acceptable or aberrant behaviour due to lack of takers, they try prostitution. Because of their indiscriminate intimate lives, Subramaniam warns they are possible carriers of the HIV pathogen.


In Jurisprudence, "person" means right and duty bearing systems. Folks are of two types-Natural person and Manufactured person. All human beings are Natural folks. So, all human beings have a legal personality. However in fact we find that eunuchs even though they are simply human beings and natural person, they aren't designated any legal personality.

In early system not all humans were granted legal personality. For example slaves in traditional times were considered as a movable property of these masters and had no legal personality or rights. Persons who would renounce the entire world and be monks were considered civilly dead and were regarded as without legal personality.

In modern times however, legal personality is granted to al humans but it is unusual that eunuchs aren't designated any legal personality.

In Oxford dictionary "person" is defined as individual human beings. In order per this is of person enumerated in the Oxford Dictionary, eunuch must be looked at as person.

The Indian Penal Code and the overall Clauses Act define "person" as following-

"Person shall include any business, or connection or body of individuals, whether incorporated or not". This means see your face includes a person. So even by this definition eunuchs are persons

To award punishment, regulations or the courts sometimes consider the eunuchs as males and sometimes as females. At that time they are considered as person however, not for conferring civil protection under the law. If section 8 of the IPC is interpreted, it would imply that offence can be determined only with a male or a female. It could be logically argued a eunuch is neither a guy nor a female so how the eunuch can be priced of any offence under the sections of IPC. So in the interest of justice, it's important to interpret the word 'he' in IPC, section 8 to included third gender too. If this is performed you will see no dependence on the courts to treat eunuchs sometimes as male and sometimes as females.


India is the one country where the traditions of eunuchs is prevalent today. There are about 1 million eunuchs in India. Most of the eunuchs in India live by begging. They normally come out in sets of about five to ten and spread out in streets approaching small outlets and restaurants for alms. Normally people provide them with small alms out of concern with being cursed. It is widely presumed in India that the curse of the "hijra" is very effective; same with their blessings.

Groups of eunuchs learn some music and dancing based on Hindi movie songs and provide to party at small family functions like naming ceremonies of newborn children, weddings and other town functions. Though eunuchs are not very reputed people enjoy them perform and give them alms.

Eunuchs normally stay in large groups in particular localities. Other folks normally do not dare to move and live along with them because of the abnormal tendencies and sociable stigma. These localities generally consist of shanties, about fifty to hundred of them all grouped in strongly.

Eunuchs in India trace their origin to misconceptions in Ramayana and Mahabharata. The storyplot goes that, at the time of banishment of Lord Rama from the kingdom, Lord Rama was impressed with the devotion of Eunuchs and awarded them capacity to confer blessings on people on auspicious situations like childbirth and relationship and also at inaugural functions. But the reality is completely different from mythology.


Hijras (Eunuchs) in India have nearly no safe spots, not in their own families, where they may be protected from prejudice and abuse. The PUCL(K) Record on Human Rights Violations contrary to the Transgender Community has recorded the kind of prejudice that hijras face in Bangalore. The survey shows that this prejudice is translated into violence, often of any brutal nature, in public areas spaces, police channels, prisons and even in their homes. The main factor behind the assault is that society is not able to come to terms with the fact that hijras do not comply with the accepted gender divisions. Furthermore, most hijras have a lower middle-class background, which makes them vunerable to harassment by the authorities. The discrimination based on their class and gender makes the hijra community one of the very most disempowered groupings in Indian culture. The systematic assault that hijras face is reinforced by the corporations like the family, multimedia and the medical establishments and is given legitimacy by the legal system. The hijras face many sorts of status and societal harassments such as:

Harassment by the authorities in public places

Harassment at home

Police entrapment

Abuse/harassment at law enforcement stations

Rape in jails

The media, rather than supporting their cause, has hampered it almost irreversibly by projecting them either as a dark and sinister group of folks with criminal instincts, to be avoided at all costs, or as the laughing stock in films, and rarely with empathy and mankind. The hijra community is a close-knit one, their ways and habitat retained magic formula from even the closest of neighbours who nurse more hatred than dread for them but prefer not to show it. Only the strange beggar who sleeps on the pavement over the street from a hijra colony appears to envy their deviant existence. They may actually caution little for cultural acceptance but have enough awareness (though their manner will not show this) to hate being ridiculed by 'in a straight line' people. Many of them have considered criminal offenses and prostitution.

The origins of contemporary violence up against the hijra community can certainly be traced back again to the historical form that modern rules in colonial India has taken. It took the form of the enactment of the Lawbreaker Tribes Action, 1871 which was a fantastic legislation that even departed from the guidelines on which the Indian Penal Code was centered. To establish an offence under the India Penal Code, the accusations contrary to the accused has to be proved beyond fair doubt in courtroom of law. But certain tribes and neighborhoods were perceived to be thieves by delivery, with criminality being passed on from generation to era. It built in well with the hierarchical Indian sociable order, in which some communities were perceived as unclean and polluted from delivery.

The website link between criminality and erotic non-conformity was made more explicit in the 1897 amendment to the Felony Tribes Work on 1871, that was sub-titled, 'An action for the Registration of Felony Tribes and Eunuchs'. Under this law, the local government was necessary to keep a register of the titles and residences of most eunuchs who had been "reasonably suspected of kidnapping or castrating children or committing offences under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code". Any eunuch so documented could be arrested without warrant and punished with imprisonment as high as 2 yrs or with an excellent or both. Regulations also decreed eunuchs as incapable of performing as a guardian, making something special, attracting up a will or adopting a son.

Regarding Civil legislations also, they are not spared here. The hijra community is deprived of several protection under the law under civil legislations because Indian legislations recognizes only two sexes. This means that hijras do not have the rights to vote, marry and own a ration credit card, a passport or a driving a motor vehicle license or lay claim employment and health benefits. In north and central India, hijras, who have contested and earned elections to local and Talk about bodies, are actually facing legal issues. In February 2003, the Madhya Pradesh High Court struck down the election of Kamala Jaan as the Mayor of the Municipal Organization of Katni. The court's reasoning was that since Kamala Jaan was not a female, she could not contest the chair, which was reserved for women. Attorney at law Pratul Shandilya, who's arguing Kamala Jaan's case, said: "I've already filed the Special Leave Petition (SLP) prior to the Supreme Courtroom, and the court docket has also granted leave in the petition. "

The High Court docket verdict emerged despite a direction from the Election Commission rate (E. C. ) in September 1994 that hijras can be signed up in the electoral assignments either as male or female depending on the statement during enrolment. This path was presented with by the E. C. after Shabnam, a hijra prospect from the Sihagpur Assembly constituency in Madhya Pradesh, published to the principle Election Commissioner enquiring about which category hijras were labeled under.

The regulation that is utilized most to threaten the hijra and kothi neighborhoods, as well as the homosexual community in India, is Section 377 of the IPC, which criminalizes "carnal intercourse up against the order of mother nature with any man, girl or pet animal" even if it is voluntary. In place, it criminalizes certain kinds of sexual works that are perceived to be `unnatural'. The law, which includes its origins in colonial ideas of morality, in effect presumes that a hijra or a homosexual person is participating in `carnal intercourse up against the order of nature", thus causeing this to be entire lot of marginalized areas vulnerable to law enforcement harassment and arrest. The Immoral Traffic Avoidance Function (ITPA) of 1956 (amended in 1986), whose explained goal is to criminalize brothel-keeping, trafficking, pimping and soliciting, in reality targets the obvious number of the sex worker and permits the authorities to arrest and intimidate the transgender sex-worker society. So we can summarize the real position of eunuchs in India the following:-

Constitution of India will not consider them as third gender; they can be deprived of communal, civil and political rights.

They don't have right to vote, do not have rations credit cards.

They are not at all recognized as people of India and so they can be deprived of cover and rights open to a citizen.

They face prejudice and sometimes this prejudice is translated into violence, often of brutal dynamics, in public places, prisons, police channels etc.

The entertainment industry in India portrays them as butt of ridicule. Children learn about the eunuchs through the movies and the thing they learn is the fact Eunuchs are something to be joked upon.

Eunuchs in India are cured with contempt by the society. The family of Eunuchs disowns them when they come to learn about their sexuality.

Eunuchs in India find hard to get good education.

Most public and private companies use several excuses to deny career to the Eunuchs. The end result is they are compelled into prostitution.

Sometimes people who scoff at the eunuchs through the daylight methodology them during the night for perverted intimacy. They conclude having various sexually transmitted disease including Assists.


With each and every thing going resistant to the Eunuchs; a noteworthy amount of recognition has also been seen all over the world. Around the world, countries are beginning to recognize the protection under the law of transgender people. Within a landmark view (Christine Goodwin vs. the United Kingdom, 2002) the European Court of Individuals Rights announced that the U. K. government's failure to improve the labor and birth certificates of transsexual people or even to permit them to marry in their new gender role was a breach of the European Convention on Individuals Privileges. It said a test of natural factors could no longer be used to deny acknowledgement legitimately to the change of gender that a transsexual had undergone. In New Zealand, in New Zealand Attorney General vs. the Family Judge at Otahuhu (1994), the judge upheld the principle that for purposes of marriage, transsexual people should be officially known in their re-assigned love-making.

Of later the Indian hijra community has begun to mobilize themselves through the forming of a collective. Sangama, an organization dealing with hijras, kothis and making love workers in Bangalore, has played an important role by helping them organize and fight because of their protection under the law. Its services include organizing a drop-in centre for hijras and kothis, conducting some general public rallies and marches, using legal assistance in case there is police harassment, and establishing links with other cultural movements.

The organizations of the hijra community is seen as constituting a larger movement of erotic minority communities in India. They can be challenging the constitutional validity of Section 377 and are managing a advertising campaign questioning the government's stand that the law should remain. The discrimination and violence that hijras face show that it's high time that both administration and the individuals rights movements in the united states begin to use this matter with the seriousness it deserves.


India must travel a long way towards granting full constitutional protection under the law to Eunuchs, Gays, Transvestites and Homosexual individuals.

The practices of India are packed with profound rooted prejudices against Eunuchs in general. In India Gays, Transvestites and Homosexuals are seen living along with Eunuchs and find themselves safe there. That is due to deep rooted cultural stigma against them.

Of late the election payment of India has allowed the Eunuchs to load the election form by saying "Other" in the slot where you have to load either "man" or "woman". This is of course an extremely small step in the right way and many more have to be done.

Eunuchs are natural folks plus they have a legal entity. It is high time that regulation and judiciary should realize them as third love-making.

Comprehensive Civil Rights legislation should be enacted to provided eunuchs the same safeguard and rights guaranteed to others.

Law should be made to punish the individual, who discriminate people on the basis of their gender individuality.

In Voter's Personality card, one category of Eunuch can be added other than male and feminine.

Right to marry is the essential right of individuals so regulations must be produced regarding the marriages of eunuchs.

The Press Council of India and other watch dog institution of varied popular mass media should issue suggestions to ensure very sensitive and respectful treatment of issues associated with Eunuchs.

We people can change lives. Eunuchs are patients of biasness not only from the medial side of Administration but also from the medial side of individuals. So we must admit them and our attitude towards them must maintain positivity. We must realize that law by themselves cannot change the generations old background and tradition of ruthless discrimination resistant to the Eunuchs. We must allow them as 'one of us'

Without monetary empowerment the emancipation of an exploited community is a distant dream. Appropriate vocational training may be provided to them with a view to integrating them into the mainstream of contemporary society in appropriate careers.

Millions of such souls in our country business lead lifeless lives. The government has taken few steps to bridge this difference. In passports, ration credit cards, and other electricity varieties O (for other sex) or E (for Eunuch) has been added under the 'love-making' category. But still, a lot must be done. This may only be performed after we change our state of mind and by spreading awareness to every stratum of the world. It's about time to think significantly about the oppressed lives eunuchs reside in India. It isn't about what we can give to them. It's about the esteem, love and position they actually are worthy of as humans.

Easier said than done but it will surely be considered a very commendable thing to look at a eunuch as a kid.

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