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Yes, hijras were brought under the umbrella term of transgender and are recognized as “third gender” under the law. Transgender is generally described1 as an umbrella term for persons who do not conform to their biological sex and hijras fall under this category. Hijras are not men by virtue of anatomy appearance and psychologically, they are also not women, though they are like women with no female reproductive organ and no menstruation. Since Hijras do not have reproductive capacities as either men or women, they are neither men nor women and claim to be part of “third gender”. Among Hijras, there are emasculated (castrated, nirvana) men, non-emasculated men (not castrated/akva/akka) and inter-sexed persons (hermaphrodites).
- National Legal Services Authority vs. Union of India (UOI) and Ors. (2014)5SCC438 (para 11).
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