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Transgender woman Tista Das, 38, arrives for her wedding to a transgender man Dipan Chakravarthy, 40, in Kolkata, India, Aug. 5, 2019. VOA

An Indian transgender couple who both underwent sex re-assignment have tied the knot in a traditional Bengali ceremony, in what is believed to be the state’s first “rainbow wedding.” Surrounded by family and friends, bride Tista Das, 38, and groom Dipan Chakravarthy, 40, took part in rituals and pledged their love for each other in Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal state. “We are feeling awesome actually. We are out of the gender box and we love to be an exception and we think this is a strong bond between us,” Tista Das told AFP on Monday.

“It’s a bond of love. It’s a bond of liberty also,” she said. “And this is the solidarity of our souls.” Das said she battled for a long time to “achieve her identity as a woman, as a human being,” adding: “I was not even considered as a human being in this brutal society.” A transgender friend of the couple, Anurag Maitrayee, said the ceremony was a “beautiful, emotional union of two hearts and two souls.”


“Despite all the oddities and all the atrocities, I have seen how Tista and her journey from a man into a woman and her relation, emotion, love with a person with a soul whose journey is from a woman to a man,” Maitrayee said. Official estimates for India’s transgender population are not known but they are thought to number several million. Transgenders often live on the extreme fringes of Indian society, with many forced into prostitution, begging or menial jobs.


“It’s a bond of love. It’s a bond of liberty also,” she said. “And this is the solidarity of our souls.” RFERL

Over the centuries transgenders have assumed different roles in society, from royal courtesans to participants in birth ceremonies and other auspicious occasions. They have waged a lengthy battle to protect their rights and end discrimination. India’s Supreme Court recognized them as a third gender in a historic 2014 ruling.

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On Tuesday, India’s lower house passed a transgender bill to enshrine the rights of transgender people in law. The bill is currently being discussed in the upper house. But the community as well as human rights activists have raised concerns that the bill’s language is unclear over whether it allows transgender people to self-identify.

“The Transgender Persons Bill should be a remarkable achievement for a long-persecuted community, but the current draft fails on the fundamental right to self-identify,” Human Rights Watch South Asia director Meenakshi Ganguly said last month. “It’s crucial that the law be in line with the Supreme Court’s historic ruling on transgender rights.” (VOA)


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Hugs, caress scenes, extramarital affairs, vulgar and bold dressing, bed scenes and intimacy of married couples are being glamourised in utter disregard to Islamic teachings and culture of Pakistani society," PEMRA stated

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has directed Pak TV channels to stop airing what it calls indecency and intimacy in dramas, Samaa TV reported.

A notification issued by the authority states that it has been receiving numerous complaints from viewers who believe that the content being depicted in dramas does not represent the "true picture of Pakistani society".

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"Hugs, caress scenes, extramarital affairs, vulgar and bold dressing, bed scenes and intimacy of married couples are being glamourized in utter disregard to Islamic teachings and culture of Pakistani society," PEMRA stated, as per the report.

The authority added that it has directed channels time and again to review content with "indecent dressing, controversial and objectionable plots, bed scenes and unnecessary detailing of events".

Most complaints received by the PEMRA Call Centre during September concern drama serial "Juda Huay Kuch is Tarah", which created quite a storm on social media for showing an unwitting married couple as foster siblings in a teaser for an upcoming episode. However, it only turned out to be a family scheme after the full episode aired, but by that time criticism had mounted on HUM TV for using the themes of incest to drive the plot, the report said. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Pakistan, Islam, Serials, Dramas, Culture, Teachings.