Letter to Editor | Response to Op-ed on Transgenders

THIS refers to the oped titled “Does Islam ask us to hate Transgenders?” by Amir Suhail Wani (Kashmir Observer 12th Nov 2022). The author has well explained the Hadith mentioning effeminate men (Mukhanath) who used to act like women to gain access to women’s spaces many centuries back. These men were not Transwomen (Khawaja Sara). Many scholars of Islam have misquoted this hadees and have related the same with Transgender and the author has clarified it. I appreciate this. Infact, there are many more such sayings of Prophet Mohammad (SAW) wherein crossdressing has been prohibited and those hadees are to be followed for the same reasons.

The transgenders are human beings who are God’s creation and we need to respect them. Unfortunately, in Kashmiri language we have failed to have respectful words like Urdu’s Khawaja Sara for this community especially for transwomen. By calling these people ‘Laans’ or ‘Zanan Laans’ as a pejorative term, we are, by virtue of even our language discriminating against them.

The Govt has also come up with a legislation safegaurding the rights of this community called Transgender (Persons Protection of Rights) Act 2019 also called TG Act 2019 which empowers this community but there is very little awareness about this law in J&K. The Transgender Welfare Board (TG Board) which was set up by J&K Govt under this act some months back has no members from the transwomen community from Kashmir. I would request LG Manoj Sinha to look into it. I appreciate Kashmir Observer for giving space to such issues related to marginalized communities in its Oped page which are otherwise sidelined by our media organisations and columnists.

Advocate B A Bhat

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