Topic Of The Day:-“Rights, Revised: On The Transgender Persons Bill, 2018”
Lok Sabha Has Passed A New Bill To Protect Transgender Persons, But Concerns Remain
The passage of a Bill in the Lok Sabha to secure the rights of transgender persons is a progressivestep towards extending constitutional protection to this highly marginalised community. The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2018, as passed, is an improved version of the legislation introduced two years ago. The earlier draft was widely perceived as falling short of the expectations of stakeholders and not adequately rights-based, as envisaged by the Supreme Court in its landmark decision on transgender rights in 2014. Experts, as well as the Standing Committee of Parliament on Social Justice and Empowerment, had criticised the original definition of ‘transgender persons’ for violating the right to self-determined identity. Therevised definition omits the reference to a ‘neither male nor female’ formulation, and covers any person whose gender does not match the gender assigned at birth, as well as transmen, transwomen, those with intersex variations, the gender-queer, and those who designatethemselves based on socio-cultural identities such as hijra, aravani, kinner and jogta. The requirement that a district screening committee must recommend the issue of a certificate to each transgender may be necessary to prevent misuse, but such a process goes against the principle of self-identification, a key right the Supreme Court had protected. The government has omitted the need to go through the same screening committee to get a revised certificate after a transgender has sex reassignment surgery, but the medical certification requirement remains. Transgender persons may question the need for such external gate-keeping.
There are other legitimate concerns in the revised Bill, which will now go to the Rajya Sabha. One refers to the bar on forcible separation of transgender persons from their families, except through court orders. It has been revised to cover transgender children. Earlier it covered adults as well, but the committee had noted that it was within the family that many transgender persons faced harassment and abuse, and often felt driven to flee their homes. Another concern is that the Bill criminalises begging by making it an offence for someone to compel or entice a transgender person into seeking alms. When begging itself is no more seen as an offence, it may harm the community if such a means of livelihood – in the absence of employment – is criminalised. The Bill, unfortunately, does not give effect to the far-reaching directive of the Supreme Court to grant backward class reservation to the transgender community. Nor have the Standing Committee’s concerns about recognising civil rights in marriage, divorce and adoption among them been addressed. There is much good intention behind the welfare provisions, but social legislation is much more than high-minded clauses. It needs to be followed up with zealous implementation and framing of deadlines to achieve specific objectives.
MEANINGS AND WORDS
Meaning : happening or developing gradually or in stages.(adj)
Synonyms : continuous
Antonyms : intermittent
Example : “a progressive decline in popularity”
Meaning : become aware or conscious of (something); come to realize or understand.
Synonyms : anticipated
Antonyms : ignored
Example : “his mouth fell open as he perceived the truth”
Meaning : contemplate or conceive of as a possibility or a desirable future event.
Synonyms : behold
Antonyms : real
Example : “the Rome Treaty envisaged free movement across frontiers”
Meaning : reconsider and alter (something) in the light of further evidence(v).
Synonyms : adjusted
Antonyms : kept
Example : “he had cause to revise his opinion a moment after expressing it”
Meaning : keep (something) from happening(v).
Synonyms : avert
Antonyms : advance
Example : “action must be taken to prevent further accidents”
Meaning : vigorous and strong; forceful.
Synonyms : coercive
Antonyms : weak
Example : “they could only be deterred by forcible appeals”
Meaning : run away from a place or situation of danger(v).
Synonyms : depart
Antonyms : arrive
Example : “to escape the fighting, his family fled from their village”
Meaning : relate to; be about.(v)
Synonyms : burden
Antonyms : pastime
Example : “the story concerns a friend of mine”
Meaning : attract or tempt by offering pleasure or advantage.
Synonyms : attract
Antonyms : repel
Example : “a show which should entice a new audience into the theatre”
Meaning : a breach of a law or rule; an illegal act.
Synonyms : violation
Antonyms : defence
Example : “the new offence of obtaining property by deception”
Meaning : identify (someone or something) from having encountered them before; know again.
Synonyms : confessing
Antonyms : scrutiny
Example : “I recognized her when her wig fell off”
Meaning : having or showing zeal.
Synonyms : dedicated
Antonyms : dispassionate
Example : “the council was extremely zealous in the application of the regulations”