A New Era in India

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Throughout history, social change usually comes about by first passing laws that acknowledge the existence of a minority group. Once something is in writing, people will slowly begin to accept it as the new way that society will function. This is how it occurred first for African-Americans, and then for women.

In India, a new law that recognizes transgender people as a third gender is opening the door of acceptance for the Indians that usually live on the fringes of society, ostracized due to their gender identity.

The law will allow Indians the option to check “other” on ballot forms. Moreover, jobs and educational institutions will have to meet a quota for transgender people as with other minorities.

This is the start of allowing people more leeway in deciding not only who they want to like, but what they want to express themselves as. It makes it so that they will not get penalized for their decisions or feel the need to hide.

To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. -Nelson Mandela

India is definitely taking a step towards ensuring the freedom of a previously displaced part of its society.