The protests in Bengaluru were held to coincide with protests being held across India to protest the Trans Bill as well as the Anti-Trafficking Bill.

We want justice Trans community in Bluru protests trans anti-trafficking bills
news Protest Friday, December 28, 2018 - 14:18

For many in India, the end of the year is celebrated as the holiday season and involves spending time with friends and family in the comfort of their homes. But for some communities, this time is filled with turmoil, for a potential law threatens to challenge their identity and livelihood.

Chants of “We want justice!” rang the air on Friday morning in central Bengaluru as members of the transgender community, sex workers and sexual minority communities gathered at the steps of the Bengaluru Town Hall. They, like hundreds from the trans community across India, were protesting the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, which was recently passed in the Lok Sabha.

As they sat on the steps, holding up posters stating ‘the rights of transgender persons are human rights too’ and ‘feelings are more important than the body,’ the protesters spoke about why the Trans Bill is problematic and dangerous for them in its present form.

Also read: Trans Bill and reservations: Policy brief for trans and intersex persons released

“They are trying to destroy and divide the community in the name of the Trans Bill. You have to protect them, they are marginalised community and they too have rights, just like everyone else under the Constitution. Suddenly, we are passing such Bills without any plans and without any alternatives. This Bill is not clear. It is ambiguous. They have failed to define the term transgender,” an advocate, who did not wish to be named, told TNM.

At one point, the protesters converged at the foot of the stairs of Town Hall, unfurled a large poster which read ‘National Day of Rage’ and shouted, "nyaaya beku!" (We want justice) and criticised the Modi government for not heeding their demands.

Also read: 'Equal to killing us': Why India's transgender community is rejecting the Trans Bill

“You (Centre) say go back to your parents. But who will accept us? We do not support the new Bill. We are not okay with it. With this, you are pushing us out on the road to fend for ourselves. If the government had provided us with alternate working arrangements then there was room for discussion. But this is not acceptable," Bhagya told TNM.

The protests in Bengaluru were held to coincide with protests being held across India. The ‘National Day of Rage’ was called for to protest the Trans Bill as well as the anti-trafficking bill. The latter has also been heavily criticised for criminalising consensual sex workers, trans persons who may take hormone therapy and for not consulting the real stakeholders - sex workers and the transgender community. A larger protest also took place today in New Delhi at Jantar Mantar. The community, as well as activists, have voiced strong opposition to the Bill, demanding that the Bill, passed in the Lok Sabha earlier this year, should not be introduced in the Rajya Sabha and should be referred to a Select Committee in the Upper House.

Also read: 'Don't crush us': Over 2000 protest in Chennai against regressive Trans Rights Bill

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