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Indian MPs urged to back transgender rights

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New York: India’s parliament should enact a bill to ensure better legal protection for the rights of the transgender population, Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday. download

The Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, if passed, will allow for legal gender recognition, removing a fundamental barrier for transgender people toward realizing their basic human rights, including protection from violence and discrimination, it said in a letter to Indian MPs.

“What is at stake in this bill is the fundamental dignity of transgender people, who for too long have had to endure public ridicule and humiliating treatment by police and other authorities,” Human Rights Watch said.

“India’s parliament should ensure transgender people have full legal recognition as required by the constitution and international law.”

While India has made considerable progress on rights of transgender people, most remain socially marginalized and deprived of basic rights, including the right to vote, own property, marry, and claim a formal identity through a passport or other government identification.

They are frequently publicly ridiculed and excluded from general society, enduring discrimination and humiliation from the police and medical authorities.

In 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that transgender people be recognized as a third gender and enjoy all fundamental rights.

The Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, which was passed by the Rajya Sabha on April 24, calls for equal rights to transgender people.

To become law, it now must be passed by the Lok Sabha, where the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has a majority.

The minister for social justice and empowerment, belonging to the BJP, has thus far said that the government supports the issue but wants to bring its own comprehensive bill in this regard.

(IANS)

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‘A Fantastic Woman’ Could Have Been Paramount in Portraying a Transgender Woman’s Struggle

"A Fantastic Woman" fails to carry us along in its protagonist's tough journey from bereavement to isolation to confrontation to settlement. Marina can't wait to get out of it.

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Daniella Vega
'A fantastic Women' seems stretched out. Flickr

Film: “A Fantastic Woman” (Spanish, with English Subtitles, based on a transgender woman); Director: Sebastian Lelio; Starring: Daniela Vega; Rating: 1/2 (2 and a half stars)

“A Fantastic Woman” could have been penetrating portrait of a transgender woman’s struggle for dignity after her middle-aged lover suddenly dies on her.

Marina (played with consummate sensitivity by Daniela Vega) never quite recovers from the traumatic shock. Neither does the film. It quickly goes downhill from the point of tragedy, building what looks like a shell-shocked narrative in-sync with the stupor that falls over Daniela’s soul after Orlando (Francisco Reyes) passes away.

The ensuing trauma of a ‘woman’ who is unacceptable to society for her gender and status in the life of the man she loved, is brought out like a dentist extracting rotten teeth. It is a graceless situation.And director Sebastian Lelio goes with the frown, rendering every crease in Daniela’s disheveled existence in shades of black and fright.

Daniela Vega
Spanish makes the dialogue-heavy sequences, makes it seem unnecessarily stretched-out and verbose. Flickr

Daniela’s dilemma is so in-your-face, it hardly needed to be affirmed so strongly by the narrative. Her humiliation is shown in scenes in the hospital and at the police station. And we know what happens to the mistress specially when she is gender-challenged. But Marina’s behaviour post the tragedy eschews empathy. She frets, fumes, snarls and at one point even jumps on to the car of her deceased lover’s family to bounce up and down.

By this point the edgy narrative begins to look uneasily unfocused.

Perhaps Marina’s unconventional methods of protest are a cultural things. Maybe in Chile, the conventions of bereavement are played out at a pitch that seems fairly bizarre to us. Also, the fact that the film is in Spanish makes the dialogue-heavy sequences, such as the one where Marina is confronted by Orlando’s wife in a car basement, seems unnecessarily stretched-out and verbose.

Also Read: Eating diorder can be treated in transgenders

“A Fantastic Woman” fails to carry us along in its protagonist’s tough journey from bereavement to isolation to confrontation to settlement. Marina can’t wait to get out of it.

Neither can we. (IANS)

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