Eunuch aka Hijra aka Third Sex

Sonu... winner of 'Nazakat Queen' beauty pageant for third sex.

We have all seen or heard about third sex, trans gender or a Eunuch and seen them dancing at homes during marriages or childbirth. 

This was not their only profession. History of different royal states of India, Persia and Middle East have enough evidence of eunuchs having worked as court spies, dancers, die-hard body guards and extremely brave soldiers.

Their cleverness and loyalty were dependable. Today, some of them are satisfied with their state and have discovered or invented happiness, but this is not true for majority of them.

In many countries and cultures like far east or the modern west they are accepted in main stream society and live as normal members of family and society, without an association of remorse or shame. 

In Indian subcontinent, it is sadly not so.

In light of their being treated like outcasts and thus making it difficult for them to join mainstream life as normally excepted third gender, a petition was filed in a Chandigarh court, demanding that the 'People’s Representation Act' be amended to provide them representation in both Parliament and the state assemblies.

The same petition also prayed for reservation for eunuchs in government and semi-government jobs, under the sexually handicapped category. They certainly must get this facility.

However it is worth noting  that only few of the eunuchs are born as natural eunuchs.  

Many eunuchs, are not born as eunuchs but are operated upon after being kidnapped and turned in to eunuchs.

This is where the tragedy begins. Proper provisions for detection and prosecution of such crimes is absent. 

 A provision for quick registration of criminal cases, against those who  convert young boys into eunuchs needs to be legislated as soon as possible.

Although many criminals, dress up as fake eunuchs,  but it is noteworthy that driven by rejection of society resulting in bitterness or driven by poverty, eunuchs have at times, associated with crime, and can be dangerous.

As a forces officer, and by virtue of my association with some intel work, I have had some association with the third gender friends, as very reliable intelligence informers.

They are gutsy, quick minded and experts in getting in and out of a situation in a jiffy. They are masters at the game of embarrassing a person, and quite vulgar if need be. 

Their unabashed behaviour is a weapon they use to get out of any situation. 

Listening to their tragic stories can melt any one's heart. As per an estimate there are about 15 lakh eunuchs in India, with 7 lakh of them being in Mumbai alone.

Of all the eunuchs in India only just about 10 to 15 thousand are genuine eunuchs. Rest of them are the victims of forcible castration, most of the victims being young and innocent street children, or kidnapped  children.

There is a network of criminals who steal children and sell them to various dhams and deras (Abodes), controlled by the senior eunuchs called 'Mahants' or 'Gurus'.

Why does this business of kidnappings and forcible castrations thrive?

To understand this we have to consider some sociological and psychological aspects of the problem.

 Eunuchs although being social animals like the rest of us, live their lives with one big difference. 

The difference is that we can have families, and thus a social support system, but they can’t have families so they create one by adding new members to their group, by either laying claim to an unfortunate child born as third sex or by adopting illegal means, of kidnapping children. 

A eunuch's social life and family support system spins around his or her dera. 

 Eunuch deras generate millions of rupees of tax free collections as donations. This does not mean that all eunuchs are well off. Many live a slavish and beggardlly life, at the merci of their dera heads.  

Sometimes these Deras,  work as centres of drug trafficking and smuggling even. 

As a close estimate there are about 400 huge, 1500 medium sized and 35,000 smaller deras of eunuchs in India. For that matter every town worth its salt has one or more of these deras.

These Deras  are not only  well knit, or tightly held communities, but they also serve as the training centres for young eunuchs. The older eunuchs,  themselves being victims of this vicious cycle, somehow become remorseless, vindictive and free of any guilt concious of criminally adding new members .

The eunuch culture has a sadistic angle to it too, as eunuchs are mostly left to tend for themselves in a pitiable state when old. 

All the tactics of dirty politics, misappropriations, and even murde for the control of dera resources can also be seen in these deras, which are ruled by Mahants with an iron hand.

These deras need a regular supply of earning and working hands, and as a result thousands of eunuchs are forcibly created every year, by forced castrations.

The process of their conversion is extremely raw, perverted, and heartless.

 Sometimes these castration operations are carried out illegally by some qualified doctors, but mostly quacks go around carrying out these operations in the name of sex change surgeries.

Majority of these castrations are carried out by the eunuchs themselves in an extremely raw manner. The victim is kept in some lonely and deserted place in a make shift hut. He is fed for two days on loads of opium and milk and supposedly intoxicated beyond pain. 

On the morning of the third day, the victim is held down by a number of eunuchs and after tight cording his external genitals; they are chopped off in one swift move of a sharp blade. Burning hot mustard oil is applied to the wound and then a blob of katha is applied to the wound.

This wound is left open to bleed signifying the draining out of all manhood out of the victim. To ensure that the urethra does not close by injured tissue fusing together a rounded peepal twig is inserted inside the opening and left there. 

For two days the eunuchs dance and celebrate the inclusion of a new member. This is not where it all ends. During the celebrities, ritualistically a grinding stone handle  is pushed up the anus of the victim,  till some blood draws out of it, and this is when the conversion of this man into a woman, or a eunuch, is considered complete.

 The Mahant or Guru presiding over these proceedings then distributes sweets and throws a party for all present to celebrate the birth of a new member.

It is worth mentioning here that thousands of these unfortunate victims die as a result of these make shift surgeries due to infection and are consigned to secret cremations, desolate graves or just about thrown in to rivers or nallahs as convenient to the Dera boss.

The tragedy is that not only do these eunuchs go through  extreme physical agony but their mental torture continues throughout their lives. 

The society always holds them in some sort of contempt. They are looked down upon by general society,  thus adding further pain to their injury.

As already mentioned, many a times this provides them with a vendetta stimulus to kidnap and convert other healthy children or youth and castrate them.

As citizens we need to do the following:-

1. Empathise and accept eunuchs as normal human beings. We need to Interact with them socially without hurting their basic human dignity and sensitivity.

2. Start being more vigilant towards  organised gangs indulging in kidnapping and castration of innocent kids. 

3.  Create an awareness amongst people and society, towards this problem, and also motivate and encourage corporates and NGO’s, to give these people normal avenues of employment and livelihood, thus helping these unfortunate victims restore their faith in society, and society’s faith in them.

4. We must bring out laws to check the forcible castrations, and bring to book the guilty, by giving them exemplary punishment so as to discourage this menace.

5. We need to bring about what ever necessary legislations are required so as to bring these eunuchs into the progressive national main stream. Remember all this is only possible, if we will work towards this goal, with compassion for those who have already been victimised, and a commitment that we as guardians of our society, we  ensure that no innocent child is made to suffer, this misfortune in future.

6.  We need to encourage social workers and  filmmakers like Ganesh Kharwar who organised a beauty competition especially for eunuchs.

7.  We need to encourage platforms, where our third gender friends are encouraged to be and celebrate who they are, without any shame. Nazakat Queen is a beauty pageant held for eunuchs. One such pageant was held in February 2010.  Auditions were held in Bombay, Meerut, Delhi, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Bhopal, Hyderabad, Lucknow, and Bangalore. Grand finale was held at Goa, where  some famous female models rubbed shoulders with some gorgeous third gender folks. Winner of 2010 Nazakat Queen got Rs.2.25lakh as prize money. The top three finalist were promised a role in Kharwar’s new film on transgenders.

8.  We must give our third gender friends dignity, by treating those born as eunuchs, those  forced in to being one, or the one's choosing to live as a third sex respectfully.

9. Afterall, we have to acknowledge that,  to live as  normal humans,   a good level of IQ and EQ is what is required. I have never found eunuchs lacking in brains.

10. Finally and most importantly, let us help them get their right to pursue consecutive progressive achievement, in public professional and business life, at par with all others, and make them a part of mainstream careers, aswellas mainstream society.
🚩तत्त सत्त श्री अकाल🚩
©✒Motivational Guru Balwant Gurunay⚔
click on this link to see film on the subject.
Balwant Gurunay

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