New Delhi: Rajya Sabha members, including TMC’s Derek O’Brien and Congress’s Rajeev Gowda, on Friday assured the transgender community they will not let the Transgender Persons Protection of Rights Bill pass the upper house in its present form and ensure it is sent to the select committee for modifications.
Calling the bill a dangerous piece of legislation that ignores the critiques made by them, members of the transgender community on Friday staged a protest against the bill at Jantar Mantar in Delhi.
Gowda said a “massive injustice” is being perpetuated through the bill. “We saw that without much discussion a bill was passed in Lok Sabha. The bill which claims to protecting the rights of the transgender community is actually doing the exact opposite,” the Congress spokesperson said.
“When it comes to Rajya Sabha, there is a whole group of us gathered across party lines who will send it to select committee. That will give us a chance to sit with it, to work on improving it and to counter all the negativity infused by the government into the bill,” he said.
Tiruchi Siva, a DMK Rajya Sabha member, said the bill is “absurd”. “The government does not even have an idea as what is a transgender. Going through a medical test to prove that you are a transgender is an insult rather than a right given through the bill,” he said.
He said the bill will not get passed in Rajya Sabha in its current form. Derek O’Brien promised that the bill will not get passed in Rajya Sabha.
“The movement carried out by the community against the bill is very good and transgenders are loved in Bengal. My message is that don’t worry, TMC is the third-largest party in Rajya Sabha and 47 MPs from the party promise that the bill will not be passed in Rajya Sabha. We also have support from other parties. This bill will go to select committee,” O’Brien said.
CPI(M) MP Elamaram Kareem also expressed support for the bill and promised they would not let it pass in its current form.