There is a lot of confusion with the subject and I am unable to find a clear understanding on the terminologies used in various languages. Also there is no clear understanding as to what determines them to be placed into such category and how is it determined. It might be my own limited knowledge on the subject or the taboo in the society I live, that I couldn’t get a clear understanding about it. I have however tried to get some knowledge online, which seems to be even more confusing given the variety of physical deviations that can exist apart from ‘male’ and ‘female’ physiology.
However, I am not going to dwell on the physical aspect of it, since I am in no position to state any view without complete or adequate knowledge. I will prefer to tell about the interactions of Hijras in Indian Society and general life and how & when they are seen in day to day life.
The first and the foremost question however that strikes in my mind is where do they go during their childhood and teenage. How they appear suddenly into society when they are young adults. You would often see them in the following occasions when there is a new born in some family. They would visit the house, do lots of songs and dancing, bless the child, take some money and leave the place. They would also visit if someone buys a new house. They would mark the visit by placing their (amazing) names on the walls of the entrance and they would take some money in return giving blessings. During some weddings in few parts of the country, they are specially invited for certain rituals, dancing, songs and blessings.
Majorly however, they are observed mostly in Indian Railways. It is life-line of many Hijras. They would go from person to person in every coach and give blessings. In return they expect some money. Some are generous enough to give them money, while others fear their curses and hence give money. Many of the hijras are very harsh to people and they try to exploit the travellers asking for undue money, even when they are not ready to give. During festival seasons, they try to collect huge money, by harassing the ongoers and passengers. Even in every locality, they go from home to home to collect Diwali, Holi chanda and make their living.
Some of the people who go through bad experiences with Hijras, they wish if the law or police could take some action. But I believe it is a unspoken understanding between the society and Hijras, that you take away the privileges from our life and rights to live alongside the society and in return we get to be demanding and harsh in certain situations. Also since they are deprived of all the education and options for employment, it is silent agreement that people would be providing money for survival.
Somehow it seems to be really unfair on the part of treating some human, so cruelly for life time. There have been some lucky Hijras lately, who have been treated fairly, but a very large part of the Hijra community is treated very unfair. I believe it is the question on the moral fiber, social acceptance and emotional quotient of every human (male/female), that they need to think on the reason for unfair treatment to Hijras. Having said that this post has got nothing to do with the LGBT community. It is purely based on the observations and terminology used in India for the people (Hijras) whom we see in day to day life on the occasions or scenarios mentioned above.
One recent experience that I had last week while travelling in Mumbai Local, involved a really high caliber Hijra. She would go to every compartment and face towards the people sitting and give them blessings in Hindi and repeat the same in English. Her voice would certainly sound how considerate she was in choosing the words. She would repeat saying that she doesn’t want to force anyone to give money and irrespective of whether or not they give the money, her blessings would apply. She was dressed really well and had a make up with kajal/mascara in her eyes. Her hair was straightened out. So yeah, she irrespective of the world choosing to deprive of her rights, she was being a humble human trying to make her living somehow. I was totally impressed by her charisma.
Note : I chose to use ‘she’, because she closely represented a woman. I am not sure if it should be he/she or it ! I will let you read as way you would want.
So I would like to ask you, who is having moral fiber, was it her or us ? Are we being a part of some social taboo without even acknowledging ? Are we so called social animals, proving the animal part in us is still intact ? Are we humans, with humanity in a calculated fashion ? Is it all just a shame in the name of morality, humanity, emotional feelings ? What are we being in a so called culturally developed humans ?
Note : There are even more harsh realities about Hijras in society. I would dwell on those aspects only when I get some valid information and when I am in a stage to post about it. This has been kept PG for anyone to read. There might be other rated versions.
( Please share your views and opinions in the comments below )