OPEN APPEAL TO THE PARLIAMENT OF INDIA
TO STOP ENACTMENT OF TRANSGENDER BILL, 2016
Solidarity with the Nation-wide Resistance of Transgender, Intersex, Genderqueer People to Assert Their Constitutional and Human Rights
16th Dec, 2017: National Alliance of People’s Movements is deeply concerned that the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016, to which there is massive resistance across the country from the transgender, intersex, genderqueer people, is being tabled in the Winter Session of the Parliament. The Bill in its current form is an unfortunately regressive step back from the landmark judgemnt of the Supreme Court in NALSA vs UoI (April, 2014), the more acceptable Private Member Bill on Transgender Rights passed by Rajya Sabha in 2014 and the progressive Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) Recommendations issued in July, 2017.
The Bill has a potential to seriously undermine the rights and interests of the already marginalized and historically wronged communities it claims to ‘protect’ and benefit’. It is for these reasons that NAPM appeals to the Parliament of India to Stop passage of the Transgender Bill in its current form and instead hold widespread consultations with the communities at stake in the light of NALSA judgement, Private Member Bill and PSC recommendations.
It is indeed appalling that disregarding the significant discourse that has emerged around trans rights as mentioned above, the Bill again resorts to a series of draconian provisions such as – ambiguous and humiliating definition of transgender; arbitrary district screening committee for identification and authentication of trans persons; criminalization of begging and traditional livelihoods, especially in the light of no provisions for jobs and reservations, non-recognition of the structures of family and care of hijra and trans people, stipulation of lesser penalties in cases of violence and discrimination against transpersons, replacing ‘Transgender Commission’ with a weaker ‘Council’, no affirmative measures to enable education and employment of trans persons etc.
Although, owing to pressure from trans communities across the country, we have been witnessing sporadic news reports that the Govt. of India has been ‘considering’ incorporation of some of the progressive recommendations of the PSC, such as expanding the definition of ‘transgender’ and dropping the ‘district screening committee’, there is no guarantee on many other substantive and long-standing demands of the community such as stringent penal provisions against discrimination, reservations in education and employment, healthcare, National and State Transgender Commissions etc. in any case no clear official clarity on any of the changes that would be made.
We salute the valiant transgender, intersex, genderqueer people who have been organizing massive resistance across the country, particularly in West Bengal, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Manipur, Maharashtra, Delhi etc. against the unacceptable provisions of the Bill and express our full solidarity with their Call for a National Protest Action on 17th December at Parliament Street, New Delhi.
It is rather ironic that a Bill of this nature, a first of its kind in the 70 years of ‘independent India’, with a claim to undo the historical injustice and recognize citizenship rights of the transgender community is actually trampling upon the rights of the community and denying basic constitutional, civil and citizenship rights. A Bill in the name of the transgender community should ideally be introduced and passed with the approval of the community and certainly not in such a situation where there is enormous critique and wide spread protests against the Bill.
We appeal to the Parliament of India, as a key pillar of our democratic edifice, and to each and every parliamentarian, across party lines, to stop passage of the Bill in its present form and listen to the demands of the community with sensitivity and openness. We hope the Parliament will stop this version, consult the community and then come up with a Bill, incorporating the progressive aspects upheld by the NALSA judgement, Private Member Bill and PSC recommendations, so that the community welcomes with the Bill open arms and not with protests, petitions and placards.
NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF PEOPLE’S MOVEMENTS
National Office: 6/6, Jangpura B, New Delhi – 110 014
Phone:011 24374535 | 9971058735
The Awards for SIFFCY 2017 Announced in a presence of Children & Youth along with Juries!
The award ceremony of Smile International Film Festival for Children and Youth was held at Sirifort Auditorium, New Delhi in the esteemed presence of Santanu Mishra, Executive Trustee of Smile Foundation & Chairman – SIFFCY; Jitendra Mishra, Festival Director – SIFFCY and eminent international dignitaries. This year, apart from prestigious International juries, SIFFCY also had a young jury board where children have given their inputs in the selection of films.
Under Adult Jury (FEATURE FILMS), Village Rockstars by Rima Das bagged best children film. Mum’s wrong by Marc Fitoussi was awarded best youth film Majid Esmaili Parsa won the Best Director for the movie Helmsman. Bad Lucky Goat was awarded the best story award by Samir Oliveros. For best actor, Banita Das bagged the award for the movie Village Rockstar. For the film with special message category, The Day my father became a bush by Nicole Kildonk was chosen.
Under Adult Jury Feature Film: for the best children film, The Wind in the Reeds by Nicolas Liguori, Arnaud Demuynck bagged the award. Compartments by Daniella Koffler and Uli Seis won the best youth film. For best story My second Eye by Ahmad Saleh bagged the award and the Wicked Girl by Ayce Kartal won the award for the film with a special message.
The Winners under the children jury category were the following. The pocket Man by Ana Chubinidze won the best film award. The Cake Story by Rukshana Tabassium won the Special Mention (For Direction). Winners under jury category: For best film, Flying Rats by Emiel Sandtke was selected and My Second Eye by Ahmad Saleh won the special Mention (For Direction)
Mr. Santanu Misra, Executive Trustee of Smile Foundation & Chairman – SIFFCY said, “SIFFCY was born out of this belief in the immense potential & power of cinema as a creative & engaging medium to sensitize our younger generation. When we conceptualized it some six years back, we only had an idea and a handful of people with us. But over the years, this idea gained strength as several like-minded individuals & institutions joined the movement. Each one of them has made an invaluable contribution to SIFFCY’s journey. As the third edition of SIFFCY witnesses the award ceremony, I feel thankful to all those who believed in our purpose and lent their wholehearted support”.
Jitendra Misra, Festival Director – SIFFCY said, “I would like to thank our international guests Ms. Mar-Ien Cover, Ms. Shizuko Suya, Ms. Hideto Hayata, Ms. Seiji Mitsu-Nobo, Ms. Laurie Gordon & Ms. Sigrid Klaus –Man for being here, interacting with our children & making it an unforgettable experience for them. And to Ms. Rima Das for contributing her beautiful film “Village Rockstars” to the festival. I would also like to acknowledge heartfelt appreciation for all our supporters & sponsors, our school partners & festival partners for their participation, encouragement & support. As a festival, SIFFCY is still very young and has a long way to go and we are hopeful in the coming years we will take SIFFCY to the next level”.
International jury for SIFFCY 2017 consisted of Mr. Arend Agthe (Germany), a celebrated film maker known for Karakum and My Friend Raffi; Mr. Gert Hermans (Belgium), Chief-editor, European Children’s Film Association; Ms. Judita Soukupova (Czech Republic), Festival Director, Junior Fest, Ms. Michal Matus (Israel), Head of Education Department, Cinematheque and Festival Director, Tel Aviv Int’l Children’s FF and Ms. Chantal Bowen (Canada), a veteran film maker and Executive Director – Youth Media Alliance and National award winning film maker from India Anwar Jamal. The panelist for the film festival includes Ms. Laurie Gordon (Canada), a filmmaker; Festival Director – Montreal Animation FF and Ms. Marlaine Cover (USA), Spokesperson & Trainer, Life Skill Parenting 2.0.