“Bindiya Chamkay Gi”

http://karachi.metblogs.com/archives/images/2007/10/bkmb-thumb.jpgDocumentaries addressing social issues of our society are rare, and a topic to address the issues of the third gender, the eunuch, Khwaja Siraa or Hijra are even rarer. As a matter of fact and as far as my memory serves me I don’t recall any such documentary which may have addressed the social status of the Khwaja Siraa community in our society in depth.

But it all changed at the screening of the documentary “Bindiya Chamkay Gi” at t2f today. Ragni Kidvai the talented young Director and Producer of this short film addresses the issues faced by the Khwaja Siraas of our society through a narrative by Bindiya, one of the bold, and outspoken member of the Hijra Community. Throughout the documentary Ragni’s camera follows this eunuch for a day while Bindiya narrates the difficulties s/he faces in our society.

Bindiya, is just another Khwaja Siraa, the gender which makes a whooping 1% of our whole population. Bindiya does want to be a man or a woman, S/he wants to be accepted by our society they way s/he has been created. But our society makes this world a living hell for him/her. S/he is looked down upon, considered a criminal. why they are being discriminated, teased and laughed upon? Who loves them ?, who respects them? Why is s/he is not respected for who s/he is ? Why her/his identity and gender is forced to be undermined? ” Are a few of many questions s/he asks our society.

The screening of this wonderful movie followed by a question answer session as Ragni (the film maker) and Bindiya were both present to address the comments and questions of the people present at the event. It was a relieve to realize that most of the people actually wanted to help the Khwaja Siraa community in one way or the other. Some said that the NGOz who are running schools for the underprivileged children should also enroll eunuch, while others wanted them to have equal legal rights. One of the most interesting things which came up as a comment from a photographer/journalist visiting from Bangladesh was that in Bangladesh the eunuchs are allowed to cross in and out of India without a passport as they are considered to have no nation “In ka Koi Desh nahee hota”, which of course was again a gender discrimination but that’s completely another debatable topic.

Besides all the encouraging comments and questions, some people (doctors included) asked if Bindiya would want to become a man or a woman which I think was not an appropriate question because its like asking a woman if she would want to be a man? Or asking a man if he would like to become a women? And of course Bindiya’s response to such questions was that s/he would want to be recognized the way s/he has been created by the Almighty. Another rather disturbing question was “how would you like to be dressed for work, would you dress like a man or a woman ?” her/his response to this too was that she would dress like a eunuch, but s/he did mentioned that s/he personally likes wearing pants and shirts. But I think the way s/he would dress is totally upto her/him.

Bindiya ‘s courage to fight for her/his social right and status and Ragni ‘s efforts to help people like Bindiya find a respect in our society are both commendable. And their efforts don’t just end here, they both are willing not to give up till their goals are achieved.

*note: please keep your comments relevant to the topic and refrain from abusive language and/or personal attacks. all comments not adhering to the KMB commenting policy will be edited or deleted without notice*

11 Comments so far

  1. ShahidnUSA (unregistered) on October 28th, 2007 @ 8:53 am

    I am going to a holloween party right now where I heard few american hijras would be there. Its funny that you have this post on the blog.
    So celebrate the diversity, be cautious, but not fear from it.
    Wellcome to the wellinformed world.

  2. Mufakkir (unregistered) on October 28th, 2007 @ 9:13 am

    There’s no problem with being a hijra. But when these people use it to get money out of other people’s pockets (like on Water pump, F. B. Area and on 5-star, N. Nazimabad), by floating phrases like ‘satai hui makhlooq’, and ‘inn ki to baddua foran lag jati hai’, and when they pass obscene comments on our men and women we loathe them and want them to go away somewhere else.

    Honestly, just because we are able to enjoy sex, does it mean we are also morally corrupt? And since they are not able to have sex, they are automagically innocent? And who gave them the right to be taunt us like that?

    I’m all for giving eunuch’s their rights, they should not be scoffed at, they should get practical jobs so they don’t go around begging like its their right. They should be admitted to schools. But thinking that plastering all that obscene-looking make-up, passing vulgar comments about our sexuality if we deny to give them some money and cursing us would endear them to us, they are wrong.

  3. wasiq (unregistered) on October 28th, 2007 @ 10:48 am

    * NOTE: A part of this comment has been deleted by the author. *

    it is bad i fully agree…there condition and status in our society is very bad..

  4. Obi Wan Kenobi (unregistered) on October 28th, 2007 @ 11:19 am

    1% population ? You mean 1 out of 100 people out there is eunuch. I guess I did not see my fair share in my life. Or may be the number is an exaggeration.

  5. Imran (unregistered) on October 28th, 2007 @ 12:11 pm

    A sensitive issue that needs more UNDERSTANDING and TOLERANCE from Pakistani society; the ideal thing would be for ALL HUMANS to RESPECT each other — irregardless of social, ethnic, religious, sexual orientation or gender DIFERENCES.

    I liked this post because its a Human Issue. And the caring and THOUGHTFUL responses made me THINK.

  6. muhammed (unregistered) on October 28th, 2007 @ 6:43 pm

    it is a very sensitive topic that has been touched upon, I personally believe in coming years we need to look out for how media treats them,

  7. Ali (unregistered) on October 28th, 2007 @ 7:18 pm

    The author definitely looks like he got duped by Bindiya or something. I mean, 1 percent of the population have naturally messed-up private parts? What was the last time that herbicides were air-sprayed over Pakistan? Many of these people either mess up themselves because they’re too lazy to earn money, and most are just professional beggars who put up lots of make-up so people may think that they’re for real; otherwise most (not all) of these people can be hard-earning, well-to-do laborers. It’s almost a cliche now, but I don’t know why “educated” people still give them out money just because of some inauthentic social implications. But those who have real mess-ups do deserve some sort of governmental support; alas, how do we know?

  8. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on October 29th, 2007 @ 5:07 am

    JAMASH ! A quiz for you since you seems quite sympathic to such CREATURES.

    Are they born like that way or is it that some surgical procedure which is performed on them.??

    The statistics referred are highly exagerrated – natural born that way are microscopic community on globe, the surgically manipulated are slightly more then them –

    Putting 1% of Pakistan population of these creatures, is nonsense and bakwaas.

    WHO & WAR statisics SAY that upto 2005 Novmber the total population of these CREATURES in Pakistan is less then a 4 digit figure.

    I will add some more after getting the data from Faryal Gohar – she has done a great research on these creatures and have penned some HORRIBLE Facts about them, but it was never published in Pakistan. HER paper was part of a study of UN commission of deprived & underprevilaged undesired class of Humans – in year 2005.

  9. ShahidnUSA (unregistered) on October 29th, 2007 @ 5:34 am

    @ Ali

    Their (transexuals or hijras) private parts are perfectly alright according to an interview. Its a psycological thing, where they think they are woman trapped in a mans body.Later in life they mutilate or surgically remove their private parts. ouch!

    But they have amazing theatrical talents that can be utilized in the entertainment industry.

  10. mansoor (unregistered) on October 29th, 2007 @ 9:59 am

    jamal bhai: creatures? please! they are humans just like the rest of us…….

  11. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on October 29th, 2007 @ 11:49 am

    @Mansoor – Creature = of which we cannot ascertain the gender.

    HUMAN – Male or Female

    how would you place them,. in what catagory??

    carnivorus & non-carnivorus ;)

    we can only sympathise with them and give them charity.,

    fair enough- Mansoor, I would term them as :

    “deprived & underprevilaged undesired class of Humans” for the ones who are born with genetic disorder,

    not the ones who are ‘into it’ by virtue of mental disorder ‘Ali Saleem’ and by cosmetic surgery – ‘Ali Haider’

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