Sunday, April 19, 2009, Rabi-us-Sani 22, 1430 A.H  
   HOME
   News in English
   News in Urdu
   Program Profiles
   GEO TV
   GEO UK
   GEO USA
   GEO ME
   GEO CANADA
   GEO EUROPE
   GEO JAPAN
   GEO SUPER
   AAG TV
   Corporate Profile
   Tariff
   News Archive
   Contact Us
   FAQ
   Feedback
   GEO CHAT
   GEO SKINS
   GEO RINGTONES
   GEO NewsAlert
   GEO Wallpapers
   Transcripts of Program
   Team GEO
 
 
 GEO World
 India's eunuchs avoid polls over 'third sex' dilemma
 Updated at: 0933 PST,  Sunday, April 19, 2009
 NEW DELHI: India's one million eunuchs face a unique dilemma every election season -- do they stand in the men's or women's queue at polling stations or stay away altogether?

In the past, eunuchs -- the term used for cross-dressers, pre- and post-operative transsexuals known here as hijras -- have largely abstained from casting their ballots because they are unwilling to identify themselves as male or female on voter registration forms. While some eunuchs do vote by listing themselves as female, many are pushing for an alternative or "third sex" option on identity cards, after being granted the franchise in 1994.

They can now write "E" for eunuch on passports and on certain government forms, but the quest for acceptance at the ballot box -- where they have to identify themselves as male or female -- still eludes them in culturally conservative India.

Last month India's election commission denied three eunuchs in the eastern state of Orissa permission to run as candidates unless they identified themselves as male or female. Pratap Sahu, president of the All-Orissa Eunuchs Association, which fielded the candidates, said the unsuccessful bid had been a form of protest against election authorities. "We wanted to fight the election on the third sex issue. In India nobody has fought for this," he said.

Month-long general elections in the world's largest democracy began on Thursday, with the last of five phases taking place on May 13. Results are expected May 16.

Back     |    Send this story to friend    
 
Share this story!   
 
» GEO Pakistan
Altaf strongly deplores Hangu suicide attack
PIA pilots ask for fresh working accord prior June 30
Suspected person arrested with explosives
9 vehicles torched in Karachi clashes
Former SSP Lahore family held over property feud
   
» GEO World
India's eunuchs avoid polls over 'third sex' dilemma
Asian militants get more sophisticated online: study
Sri Lanka health official says 28 civilians killed
US 'will not join' anti-racism conference: State Dpt
Clinton leads damnation of Iran reporter jailing
   
» GEO Business
Atta being sold at higher rates despite cut
Pakistan exported 8.5M tons cement during first eight months
Monetary policy fails to contain inflation
Asian markets crude prices at the end of week falling
KSE on downslide, loses 119 points
   
» GEO Sports
Teenagers Wozniacki and Lisicki reach final
IPL: Bangalore sends Rajasthan crashing to defeat
IPL: Bangalore sets134 run target for Rajasthan Royals
Bangalore wins toss and bats against Rajasthan
Mumbai beat Chennai by 19 runs in IPL opener
   
 
Copyright © GEO TV. All rights reserved.