Never thought that religious tenets could safeguard Transgenders

Published on 25 May 2014 on category Confession Files for zone Bengal

A traveler from Utah, USA has always seen human rights abused by religion, in India he finds religion leads to humanity, honor to transgenders.


While transgenders are treated like savage in the West, Hindu society regards transgenders. While transgenders are treated like savage in the West, Hindu society regards transgenders.

Joseph Doyle, Male, 43, Utah, America. I heard a lot about India and with this interest last year I paid a visit to India. They have different cultures, ethnicities and rituals bound by a single spiritual bond of Hinduism. It’s true I used to ridicule them but no more I do after this visit. One thing that surprised me is that whereas in the west we have to go against religion to do some human work, in India the more spiritual and religious one is ( of course towards the original culture of the soil ) the more humane he becomes. Even the superstitions here are humane. One of the key issues in the social life of the west is the rights of the LGBT people. The Hermaphrodites are ridiculed by the guardians of religion and the custodians of the society. However in India I had seen a lovely aspect of them. During my journey to Delhi to Calcutta by train, I had seen some Hermaphrodites boarding the train in somewhere near Kanpur.

The Hermaphrodites were knocking everyone and asking for ten rupees each. I saw that one child was very nervous and afraid of them due to their looks. The child was crying and was trying to dig herself in the lap of her mother. But her parents were encouraging her and gave her one rupee coin and asked her to offer that to the shemale and have an exchange with another one rupee. At this the child did the same that was asked to her and the shemale patted her in love and the child smiled and the shamale embraced her. I reserved a question for them. Then the shemale moved to a man who looked like a Hindu sage and a custodian of religion whom I hated anyway because of their attitudes towards the special people. But I have seen them in the west, and it was my mistake to equalize them with the Indian counterparts. The shemale went towards him and bowed in respect and the sage not only gave s/herself some rupees but also some Prasad (fruits, offerings to Gods/Goddesses). Then s/he came to me. I took out a few notes but s/he politely declined them and said that I am a guest in their country, that they treat guests like God and don’t beg to guests. However s/he offered me some beetles from the bag s/he had, saying that this was the only thing s/he had. S/he went away. Now that I was free, I was able to make the questions I wanted to make. I asked the parents of that child first. What was the superstition that made them give one rupee and ask for another. The gentleman said that the superstition says that a coin offered by a shemale is considered lucky. However he said that he had no belief in this superstition in this but still he implements it. He said that the custodians of religion made this rule to safeguard them. They were not normal people so they might have faced ridicule, disrespect etc. To save them from these ridicules, they were declared the asses of Gods, and their assets as lucky. By this trick they were secured from the God-fearing people and had a special honor in the society. It was the religion that saved them from persecution. And the exchange was only to balance the amount donated. I was amazed how these ‘religious’ parents were teaching the child humanity in a religious way. And how an allegedly atheist, a non-believer of superstition was a religious after all. If this is what superstition in India, I would have loved similar superstition in the west. Now I moved to the saint and since he didn’t know English, the father of the child had to mediate. I asked what the position of the Hermaphrodites in the religion was. He said that one of the major fighters in Mahabharata has once become a shemale and another shemale named Shikhandi played a major role in winning the war for the virtuous. So there was no reason to disrespect the Hermaphrodites, at least for a person who is religious by heart. He also gave a number of examples of other famous Hermaphrodites of the ancient age. For the first time I got to know that so called religious custodians can also be humane.

Written By
Sakshi Bhardwaj
Sakshi Bhardwaj is JNU alumna and writes analytical and substantial commentaries and reports on topics ranging from Geopolitics to Social and Political issues. She has also written for magazines like Organizer.
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Fist Published On: 25 May 2014

Last Updated On: 03:15:47pm 10 Mar 2017

Reading Timelength: 4 Minutes

Type of Post: Article

Category: Confession Files

Zone: Bengal

Primary Topic: #LGBT

Tags: LGBT, Transgenders, Indian society, Religion, binding force, transgenders in Hinduism, Hindu society

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