India, since time immemorial, has been one country in the world, that has always ‘celebrated’ diversity instead of ‘classifying’ it. The Mahabharata, Ramayana and even the Mughal Empire recognized and respected the transgenders as an integral part of the Society. But with the world taking a turn towards modernity, their social fortunes changed into obscurity. With the colonial government passing the Criminal Tribes Act, 1871 classifying all eunuchs as criminal, they were ostracized from all forms of social life and mostly survived in close knit communities of their own.
S. S. Rana & Co. was indeed honored to have an opportunity to share auspicious Diwali festivities with the third gender. Honored, we say, because it is indeed inspiring to see one particular community that forms such a significant part of the Indian demographics struggle since the past 2-3 centuries without being deterred or fearing societal atrocities only so their birth rights get recognized. Honored we say, because in response to the atrocities the society subjected them to, all they wanted was friendship and harmonious existence.
The theory of natural rights states that there are certain natural rights which are bestowed upon an individual merely by virtue of their birth. No state agency or governing body has the power to take away or impose these rights upon the individual. The right to be recognized for the gender a person is born with, is as fundamental as recognizing the individual itself, considering how gender is a vital and significant part of the individual’s existence.
We at S. S. Rana & Co. believe that through the recent rebels responsive recognition of the third gender, no extra right or special status was granted to them. The attitude of acceptance, is not accepting a new gender into the society, but realizing an old, long standing mistake and making efforts towards correcting it. The attitude of acceptance towards them was institutionalized when the Supreme Court of India, in the case of National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India, WP (Civil) No 604 of 2013, declared transgendered people to be officially called the ‘third gender’, giving them a right to self-identification of their gender. This move was seen as a big step towards gender equality in India, the effects of which can be felt on social media, as today we have a transgender police inspector, a transgender mayor, a transgender college principle and even a transgender music band; something that would have been unthinkable even a decade ago.
In light of this acceptance, ‘no gender’ toilets, government jobs for the third gender, third gender marriages, beauty pageants, sports events are being promoted all over the country.
At S. S. Rana & Co., keeping in line with our traditions, and all-inclusive policy shared the festivities of Diwali with a few members of the third gender.