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A fight for gender identity

In 2014 while covering Indian elections I was following this story about Kamala Kinnar who became the first transwoman to enter the pol fray from Narendra Modi's constituency of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, after Supreme court of India in it's landmark ruling recognised transgender community as the ' third gender'. on 15th april 2014. 'It is the right of every human being to choose their gender' -- Supreme Court.  Kamala kinnar also known as Bashir kinnar filed her nomination as an independent candidate against the prime ministerial candidates Narendra Modi of BJP and Arvind Kejriwal of AAP.  Her candidacy gave hope to the often abused and neglected community and the belief that they could be the part of an inclusive society. She believed people of Varanasi would support her, since Varanasi is the city of Lord Shiva who had also assumed  the 'ardhnarishwara' form ( a composite form  of Lord Shiva and Parvati). And according to shastras and puranas (sacred writings on hindu mythology) kinnar communities were called 'ardhnarishwar'.

Paromita Chatterjee/Documentary Photographer

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