Trangenders in India are coming out bold and strong. They are no longer scared of the taunts and abuses of people, because they have had enough in the past.
Recently, the Chennai Police appointed 21 members of the transgender community in the rank of Sub Inspectors. The news would send waves of joy in the LGBTQ community across the nation. But the win was not easy for transgender K Prithika Yashini.
K Prithika Yashini had applied for the same post a year back. But caged in the age-old mindset that transgender people are not meant for ‘normal’ jobs, the Tamil Nadu Uniformed Services Recruitment Board (TNUSRB) rejected her application.
Not to be put down, K Prithika Yashini decided to knock the doors of the Madras High Court to seek justice. And last November, the court sided with Yashini and directed TNUSRB to create a third category in their services and appoint her as SI as she is entitled to get the job. The court appreciated the cause canvassed by K Prithika Yashini.
The initial reluctance of the service board to hire transgender members is not new. The city police had earned a bad name a couple of years back for showing extreme apathy to a homosexual man. On July 2014, Ajay, a 28-year-old gay man from Chennai, was picked up by the cops and assaulted and humiliated; the reason being Ajay was homosexual. He was undressed in the presence of female police officers, and then sexually violated by the men, who said ‘this’ was what Ajay enjoyed. They intimidated him that his family will be harmed if he raised a complaint. The incident came to light when Ajay wrote a letter to activists and friends that narrated his ordeal.
In 2009, the Delhi High Court made a landmark judgment in which it decriminalized Section 377, much to joy of the LGBTQ community in India. But then in 2013, the Supreme Court recriminalized Section 377.
K Prithika Yashini has fought a battle against a big force and has won it too. She and 21 other transgenders received the appointment orders from City Police Commissioner Smith Saran after undergoing medical check-up. It seems the Chennai Police will now have to shed its fear of the ‘unnatural’ brigade, because they now have to make space for the transgenders who will join them as colleagues soon.
Brave K Prithika Yashini has stated that her ambition was to become an IPS officer. And she already has her role clear in her head. She wants to help transgenders have access to education and employment. “I will take action against those involved in child abuse and sexual harassment,” she said.
India needs more such brave people, who are not bogged down by what the society thinks about them. They rather believe in charting their own course and take the problem head on! Way to go, Yashini!