The Rights of Transgender Persons Bill 2014: attendees from Srishti Madurai at Rajya Sabha session are Gopi Shankar, Anandi Yuvaraj (UNAID), Kamalini Mukherjee (Research Scholar, JNU) at Rajya Sabha Secretariat, Parliament of India.
This Bill provides constitutional rights to all people, and ensures equal rights opportunity for all. This historic bill was unanimously passed, the first private bill to be passed in over 40 years. It’s a pathbreaking bill which will pave the road for a better inclusive society. Why is this bill important? This bill is crucial for our country because it incorporates not only transwomen, but also transmen, non-binary, genderqueer and all gender minority persons, into the national mainstream. It would also set up a national commission (state and central) for the entire transgender community to include all those identities. We personally thank DMK MP Tiruchy N Siva, for inviting us to the Rajya Sabha and for courageously pressing forward to pass this bill. we are excited for the incorporation of the other gender minorities, which would open opportunities for any gender minority person to be reinstated in the society. 

Gopi Shankar Madurai with Anandhi Yuvaraj infront of  Rajya Sabha after wittnessing the bill 

Recently, we have had the first private member bill to be passed in the last 36 years.
Something that has troubled me, is the fact that many large international organisations have taken credit for this.

I know this cannot be true, because the Transgender Rights Bill 2014 has been drafted by a brilliant young 21 yr old woman called Anuvindha, working as a L.A.M.P. (Legislative Assistant for Member of Parliament) Fellow, who is assisting Trichy Shiva DMK MP. This has been acknowledged by Sri Shiva himself.

I want to thank Trichy Shiva for inviting me to witness the proceedings of the passing of the Transgender Rights Bill 2014 in the Rajya Sabha.

As a genderqueer person, I was very proud to witness this historic moment at Parliament. The main reason for the passing of the Bill unanimously, was only because of MP Trichy, and Arun Jaitley’s timely intervention. It is so sad to see International organisations like UNDP and International HIV/AIDS Alliance are stealing the glory of this historical moment, claiming it to be their efforts paying fruit. But it is actually all the effort of Anuvindha and MP DMK Trichy Shiva. They are the only reason behind the success of the passing of the Bill.

On April 24th 2015, Trichy Shiva DMK MP tried to pass the draft of the Transgender Bill after the discussion in the Rajya Sabha. 

I personally witnessed
the Speaker asking MP Shiva to withdraw the bill. Three times he pressed for the draft to be considered as a Bill in his personal capacity,
MP Shiva talked about people being treated worse than animals.
“Transgender people are paying taxes, they have the right to vote, so why shouldn’t they have all other constitutional rights?”

The House was quiet, and nobody was reacting.

Once again, the Speaker asked “Mr Shiva are you going to withdraw the Draft?”
To which MP Shiva just said “I want to draft it as a Bill.”

Most people were quiet.

Then Trichy Shiva suggested that they divide the house.
Around this point in the discussion was when Arun Jaitley arrived.
After noticing the proceedings of the House, he decided to speak in favour of the Draft. Among other things he said “Beyond politics we must support this cause.”
It was his involvement at the right moment, which helped with turning the House around and bringing everybody in favour of the Bill.

The importance of this Bill is that it is not only for Transwomen, but also for Transmen(FTM), Genderqueer, and all other gender minorities.

I am sad about the ignorance of a few Transwomen in Tamil Nadu, who proclaim that this bill is only for Transwomen, and has been passed only for them.

There are many other important individuals who have worked towards the empowerment of the Transgender community, that cannot all be mentioned in this comment.
All of them are the reason behind the sensitisation of Transgender issues in our society.
But even they cannot take the credit.

All the credit goes to Trichy Shiva and Anuvindha.

It is very sad, and shameful, to see such big organisations like UNDP and International HIV/AIDS Alliance behaving in ways like this.

**This post is not meant to hurt anyone**

(Posted by Gopi Shankar on Facebook on April 26 2015, Transcribed by Ruhena Rehman)

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