Tuesday, March 24, 2009


However, while many of us view hijras as filthy, unwanted people of the society, there are many who do not think the same. One striking effort being made for the recognition and acceptance of such people is by Ali Saleem or more commonly known as Begum Nawazish Ali. As per a site, he is a Pakistani, bisexual, son of a retired Army colonel who likes to dress like a woman and interview celebrities and newsmakers on TV. He’s also South Asia’s first drag queen talk diva, who has made quite a name for himself over the last eight months with his Late Night Show with Begum Nawazish Ali. The show pushes the boundaries of the acceptable – and, critics say, the tasteful – in conservative Pakistani society.
The bottom line is that it’s not all that surprising that a cross-dressing man doesn’t raise too many heckles in Pakistan. Drag queen style isn’t alien to Pakistan or India. Hijras have been around for ages. Besides this information collected from a site, in a personal interview with Ali Saleem, he said “When a single God created you, me and hijras, and when all human beings have equal rights on this earth, why should they be deprived of them? What they are isn’t their fault, it’s the way Allah created them and we should accept them the way they are and should respect them for what they are”.
However, society’s views and opinions contradict. According to one renowned photographer Khawar Riaz, “These hijras should be beaten up wherever encountered because they bring such ridicule upon themselves purposely. Anyone who dresses up like a female yet have physical features like males will always stand out in a crowd and always be subjected to derogatory remarks”. Sympathy, in Khawar Riaz’s opinion, was not the answer. Thus it is difficult to decide how the hijras should be treated in the society. While some of the people are willing to accept them for what they are, many still believe they are alienated members of the society and should remain neglected because they do not deserve sympathy. They have always been ridiculed and there should be no reason why they shouldn’t be treated the same in the future because of their obscene and vulgar actions.
Eunuchs in our society are victims of extreme social ostracism. They are not accepted by their families, their blood relations. They are neither acceptable at work places nor they are allotted any quota in employment. They are also deprived of opportunities to take education as well as health and psychological/ psychotherapeutic assistance. It is up to every single one of us as to how we perceive these hijras to be and what place shall they have in our society in the future and at present. Will the discrimination continue? Would they always remain a stigmatized group? Will our perceptions ever change? These questions remain unanswered…….

1 comment:

  1. Renewal has to be a whole by its definition.