The transgendered people have played an important role in ancient Indian culture over millennia. They were portrayed in famous Hindu religious scriptures such as Ramayana and Mahabharata. They were given imperative roles in the royal courtyards of Mughal emperors. Their downfall came only at the onset of British rule during the eigh- teenth century when they were blacklisted and treated as criminal elements in society. Only in 2014, India’s Supreme Court has made a landmark ruling by declaring that the trans- gendered people must have access to equal opportunity in society. In spite of this legal recognition, transgenders at large have been forced to live on the fringes of the contem- porary Indian society. This article explores their past glories, present struggles and future ambitions in the world’s largest democracy.
Living on the Societal Edge: India’s Transgender Realities
By Govindasamy Agoramoorthy and Minna J. Hsu, 2015