Transgender people will now be able to inherit ancestral agricultural land, as the Uttar Pradesh government has cleared an amendment to include transgender people in the UP Revenue code. Thus the transgender people in the state now will be recognised as members of a landowner’s family and hold an equal right to inherit agricultural property.
An amendment was approved to the UP Revenue Code of 2006 for the inclusion of the third gender in the nomenclature. Previous mentions were limited to “sons, daughters, married, unmarried and widow”. This exclusion in nomenclature leads to the invisibilisation of transgender people and prevents them from owning ancestral property. The bill is likely to be tabled in the state legislature on Friday. Once the legislature passes, it will become a law.
In March last year, the State Law Commission, submitted a proposal to the state government, raising the demand for recognising transgender people’s right to own property. Commission chairperson Justice AN Mittal had pointed out that all inheritance laws leave out the transgender people, who face social ostracism despite measures to protect them. The state Cabinet’s note said that the move would accord equal rights and social recognition to the community. In the UP Revenue Code (Amendment) Act, 2020, changes have been made to various sections to include transgender people as member’s of landowners’ family to give them succession and physical rights to the property.
This change will benefit transgender people with familial holdings of land and could help reduce the stark wealth gap between cisgender and transgender people.
Why it matters
Transgender people are invisibilised in the law due to its gender binary language. As pointed out in the NALSA judgement in 2014, “Binary notion of gender reflects in the Indian Penal Code, for example, Section 8, 10, etc. and also in the laws related to marriage, adoption, divorce, inheritance, succession and other welfare legislations like NAREGA, 2005, etc. Non-recognition of the identity of Hijras/Transgenders in the various legislations denies them equal protection of the law and they face wide-spread discrimination.”
This reflects in campaigns like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Sexual Harassment laws and other provisions which lead to the marginalisation of transgender people, with their exclusion. The terminology is restricted to ‘male/female’ and ‘man/women’ which removes non-binary people from the conversation as well. However many initiatives are being taken now to empower the transgender community in India.
Earlier this year, the construction of the first University for Transgender people was also announced in the state of UP.
COURTESY : SHE THE PEOPLE