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Title: The Everyday Life of the Hijras in Kolkata
Other Titles: Social Trends, A Peer-reviewed National Journal, Vol. 9, 31-March-2022, pp 131 - 150
Authors: Bhattacharya, Anwesha
Keywords: Gender performativity
liminal visibility
front stage interaction
back stage interaction
Issue Date: Mar-2022
Publisher: University of North Bengal
Abstract: The hijras in India have always experienced liminal visibility in the mainstream society. The annulment of the penal code-377 is a recent progress made in empowering the hijras by the Supreme Court of India but much more needs to be accomplished. The hijras as a community have their identities rooted in Indian culture and tradition. These imbrication of the contours of definitions of identities creates liminal representation of many segments of the sexual minority and this amplifies in case of the hijras. The partial representation of hijras is specific to space and illustrates a close connection between space and gender performativity. The hijras demonstrate different versions of their sexuality depending on the place and context in which they are enacting. The reflections of a hijra’s lived experiences embark on the liminal representation and closeted performances showing the partial treatment of hijras in society. This paper focuses on how the under-representation of the hijras creates regular coercions and oppressive treatment of them both in public and private spaces. The hijra community has its own normative structure and it is embedded within the connotations of sexuality and gender. Therefore, the rights of the hijras are not safeguarded by the Constitution of India. Due to their ambiguous (conventional conception) sexuality the hijras are secluded from the mainstream society and receive skewed treatment and acknowledgement from the legal structure of India. The paper tries to draw a linkage between transsexuality, and liminal visibility and closeted performativity of hijras in Kolkata. The presence of inadequate laws accompanied with an absence of collective acceptance towards the ambiguity perceived as being embodied in the body of a hijra in Kolkata is the core theme of this paper.
ISSN: 2348-6538
Appears in Collections:Vol.09 (March 2022)

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