Indian Parliamentary Forces To Induct Transgenders Officers In A Major Gender Reform. It’s Great But Requires Sensitisation
They say everyone is born equal. Perhaps in many part of the world. Not so much in India . Here, you are either a privileged man who has no rules to follow or you could be a woman which comes with an extensive instruction manual. Because if you’re anything other than these extreme binaries, chances are that you’d be stripped off of even the basic rights. Be born as a woman, and you’d have to fight for safety and equality, be born into the LGBTQ+ Community and you’d have to fight for existence and acknowledgement. And while all of it may not be fair, sometimes when it yields a progressive change in the right direction, it feels worth it.
Like it happened recently, when the Ministry Of Home Affairs decided to finally work on being a tad bit more inclusive and announced that transgender officers can now be recuited into the ranks of assistant commandants. Following the principle of ‘gender neutrality’, the Indian Parliamentary forces namely – Border Security Force (BSF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), have agreed to induct people from the transgender community.
And this is probably a landmark moment for the entire country, especially the LGBTQ+ community, for finally the government too is inching closer towards inclusivity. And lauding the same had been actor and superstar, Akshay Kumar who took to twitter to write, “Brilliant news! Now that’s a progressive move by the government in the right direction. I hope rest of the occupations in the country follow suit.”
Brilliant news! Now that’s a progressive move by the government in the right direction. I hope rest of the occupations in the country follow suit. https://t.co/r7tEWFR7JD
— Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) July 5, 2020
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The gender reform came about after in a letter to the inspectors general (personnel) of BSF, CRPF, ITBP, SSB and CISF, the MHA had sought a few comments about the inclusion of a ‘third gender’ for the applicants of CAPF examination, 2020. It was after this that the departments decided to go ahead with the decision.
While this is certainly a great move, it also bears mentioning that sensitization of the forces towards people from the community could be a hurdle. The armed forces can often be the battleground (literally) of machismo and toxic masculinity and a move like this would call for sensitisation towards members of the transgender community. I hope this is taken into account.
While the CISF is still looking to discuss the matter in detail, it issued a statement saying, “Seeking more time for discussion, however, does not mean that the CISF is against the move. The force is committed to providing equal opportunities to everyone, irrespective of their gender.”
Meanwhile, even though there is no provision yet for hiring transgender people in the parliamentary forces, we are sure to hope that would be included soon enough. This decision was taken in line with the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act and we are excited to see how it works out!