Indian Government Must Change Its Outlook Towards Transgender Community, Says Narendra Modi

10/11/2015 11:15 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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Indian eunuchs show their holy strings after the marriage ceremony during the annual eunuch festival in Koovagam, in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, India, Tuesday, May 13, 2014.Eunuchs from all over India gather in this village to re-enact a story adopted from the Indian epic Mahabharata, in which they symbolically marry Aravan, believed to be the patron god of transgender communities. (AP Photo/Arun Sankar K.)

NEW DELHI -- The Indian government need to "change its outlook" towards the transgender community, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday. Interestingly, the PM's statements are a stark contrast to the legal battle his own government is fighting in the Supreme Court against recognising and giving benefits to transgenders as part of "other backward classes" (OBCs).

“Can you imagine how much apathy they (transgenders) face? The almighty has given them what he had to give but who are we to treat them unjustly? We will have to develop the system… We will have to bring changes to the legal system, amend the rules. The government will have to change its outlook,” Narendra Modi said to lawyers in an event to mark the Legal Services Day.

The event was organised by National Legal Services Authority (NALSA), which is the same organisation that helped the transgender community get "third gender" status last April.

“We will need to assimilate everyone…include everyone. We will have to do something for everyone and when you take such an initiative, I believe there is a great advantage,” said Modi.

Though some explanations have been put forth on why the Indian government chose to challenge the Supreme Court judgment, human rights lawyers believe that the government is "stonewalling".

The Supreme Court will hear the government's objections to the ruling after serving notices to all state governments.

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