The protests against the recently approved Citizenship Amendment Act are far from over, and the most ridiculous about the part of protests is that nobody in the protesting faction has any idea about the original bill, be it the common man or the celebrities instigating them. As a result, the rumour mongers are having a field day, who are now spreading rumours that the Citizenship Amendment Act aims to exclude even the transgenders and the LGBT community from the country.
To quote a tweet from Know the Nation, which is carefully busting every propaganda peddled against the CAA, a young lady who has blindfolded herself in protest against the CAA goes on to say, “It affects transgenders who have had to change their documentation” –
"It affects transgenders who have had to change their documentation," says a young blindfolded lady at #CAA_NRC_Protests in August Kranti Maidan, Mumbai
— Know The Nation (@knowthenation) December 20, 2019
This is not all, some protesters even criticized the government for introducing the Transgender Protection Bill in the same protests, because well, they had to. To quote another tweet depicting the extent of blatant, illogical rumour-mongering –
“The #CAA–NRC is super-discriminatory against Transgenders because they’re no more the same sex they were born into & hence cannot prove citizenship!”
— Know The Nation (@knowthenation) December 20, 2019
These protests reveal the brazen hatred for the Sanatan Dharma that these people have and try to portray this as their fight against the ruling government. They don’t hate the BJP as much as the fact that it is one of the few parties in India who shows no hesitation in their pursuit to restore the pride of cultural nationalism in India.
To be fair, the transgenders have been unjustly dragged into this nonsensical fight against the incumbent central government. Forget BJP, Sanatan Dharma is the only ideology which has no issues against either the transgenders or even the LGBT community. Even our folklore is filled with infinite examples of warriors and influential people who despite coming from the transgender community given due respect in the society.
To begin with, who doesn’t know about the famed warrior Arjuna from the Mahabharata? But did you know that he also lived as a transgender for one whole year? There is an interesting anecdote to how Arjun transformed into the much famed transgender warrior Brihannala. It happened so that when Mahadev, the Destroyer of the Worlds, rewarded Arjuna with the Pashupatastra, he also invited him to the heaven, where he would be endowed with various gifts and weapons as needed for the Dharmyuddh against the Kauravas.
It was during his visit to Heaven that Arjuna learnt the art of dance and music from the Gandharva warrior Chitrasena. It was when Chitrasena noticed Arjuna gazing at Urvashi dancing in the celestial court, that he mistook his admiration for attraction towards the holy Apsara. Consequently, having received Indra’s instructions, Urvashi reached Arjuna’s room one night. But Arjuna had no such intentions; he called her the “mother” of the Kuru race since Urvashi was once the wife of King Pururavas, the ancestor of Kuru dynasty.
Urvashi felt insulted, and she cursed him that Arjuna will be a eunuch for the rest of his life, who could only sing and dance with other women. However, when Arjuna narrated his ordeal to Chitrasena and Devraj Indra, Urvashi, who was also overhearing the conversation, realized her folly and reduced Arjuna’s curse to one year. This is how Arjuna transformed into Brihannala, who taught the art of dance and music to Uttara, the princess of Virata Kingdom, during the Agyatvas of the Pandavas, as depicted in the Vana Parva of Mahabharata.
Apart from Arjuna, another influential transgender is no doubt Shikhandi, the cause of Bheeshma’s downfall. Born as Amba, Bheeshma turned down her offer of marriage, since he was a celibate. Initially, she sought the help of Bheeshma’s teacher Parshurama, but in vain as Bheeshma defeated his own Guru in an intense duel. Following the defeat, Amba resorted to severe penance in order to please Bhagwan Shiva. Pleased by her penance, Mahadev gave her the boon that she would ultimately become the cause of Bheeshma’s death. She was born as Shikhandini, the first daughter of Dhrupada, the Emperor of Panchala.
According to C. Rajagopalachari’s Mahabharata, when Shikhandini was still living as a young woman he discovered the garland of ever-blooming blue lotuses hung on the palace gate. Shikhandini put it around his neck. When Drupada saw his child wearing the garland, he became fearful of becoming Bhishma‘s enemy, and Shikhandini was banished from the kingdom. He performed austerities in the forest and was transformed into a male named Shikhandi, who ultimately became the cause of Bheeshma’s impending doom.
This third classification of gender is known as “tritiya-prakriti” in the Sanskrit language, which is explained away as a combination of both the male and female characteristics, yet at the same time being neither one. An interesting depiction of the same can be seen in the manifestation of Ardhnarishwar when Bhagwan Shiva also imbibes the power of Shakti, the divine manifestation of feminity.
Ardhanarishvara represents the synthesis of masculine and feminine energies of the universe (Purusha and Prakriti) and illustrates how Shakti, the female principle of God, is inseparable from (or the same as, according to some interpretations) Shiva, the male principle of God. The union of these principles is exalted as the root and womb of all creation. Another view is that Ardhanarishvara is a symbol of Shiva’s all-pervasive nature.
The name Ardhanarishvara means “the God Who is a half-woman.” Gupta-era writer Pushpadanta in his Mahimnastava refers to this form as dehardhaghatana (“Thou and She art each the half of one body”). Utpala, commenting on the Brihat Samhita, calls this form Ardha-Gaurishvara (“the Lord whose half is the fair one”; the fair one – Gauri – is an attribute of Parvati). The Vishnudharmottara Purana simply calls this form Gaurishvara (“The Lord/husband of Gauri).
Even Bhagwan Vishnu, the preserver of the three worlds, assumed the form of a woman Mohini twice – when he had to save Bhagwan Shiva from the demon Bhasmasura, who wanted to test the boon of reducing one to ashes on Mahadev himself, and when the Devas needed to reclaim the pot of immortality [Amrita Kalash] from the Asuras.
As such, Sanatan Dharma has never been against the concept of transgenders, forget even discriminating against them. Unlike other religions which follow beheading, throwing from height and other various extreme practices against the transgenders.
However, people with vested interests are continuously peddling propaganda against one of the most liberal approaches to life and trying to coerce the transgenders into supporting their illogical, illiberal propaganda against the Sanatan Dharma, which is disastrous for our culture in the long turn of events.