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Tatte Girao, Hijra Hattao: Satya Rai Nagpaul

This guest post was sent to us by  SATYA RAI NAGPAUL, Transman, Cinematographer, Founder Member: SAMPOORNA: A Network for Asian & Diasporic Asian Trans Persons.

‘Tatte Girao, Hijra Hattao’ was written in response to Farrukh Dhondy’s article ‘The male eunuch & other chromosomes’ in The Asian Age newspaper, August 29th, 2009.  The Asian Age did not publish Satya’s response, and so it has been circulating on relevant e-lists for a while.


Caster Semenya’s record breaking run in the Berlin World Athletic Games this August, not only raised doubts in the organisers about her ‘real sex”, but back home, has precipitated our very own Mr Farrukh Dhondy’s jounalistic activism to save our boys from falling into any possible sexual/gender ambiguity.
His prescription: Get ‘the apparatus’ and you shall be a ‘man’!

If the medical and legal communities were not enough, we have now to fight our so called “progressive” journalists who write columns about ‘so called eunuchs’, who their medical friends tell them ‘were not eunuchs at all’.

The transphobia, gender essentialism and high moral ground in Mr Dhondy’s article couldn’t have been more naked. What appears throughout the article as his well meaning and sympathetic concern, finally reveals its true face in that last draconian sentence: ‘Make hijras history’. How could the corporeal realities of the hijra be so lost on a journalist [and one who is himself a minority, being a parsi, as stated in his article] that he can wish for the wiping out of an entire way of life? Instead of espousing their human rights, he wishes them not to exist at all?!

Mr Dhondy’s statement that all hijras suffer from Cryptorchidism, and that it is a simple medical procedure that will make men out of them, not only reveals his journalistic smugness but also that he has been completely absent from all discourses on sex/gender emerging ever since the years of the second world war. The binary conceptualisation of sex/gender is long dead in cutting edge academia and even the medical sciences have begun to open out their sex/gender categories to the new conceptualisations.
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