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The Clan Culture of Hijras: An Exploration into the Gender Identity and Status of Hijras Inside and Outside Gharanas

Mariam Thomas , Tissy (2013) The Clan Culture of Hijras: An Exploration into the Gender Identity and Status of Hijras Inside and Outside Gharanas. Project Report. Centre for Research, Christ University. (Submitted)

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Abstract

According to the Targeted Intervention HIV Prevention Program (2013) initiated by Sangama, Bangalore approximately 1200 transgender are identified in the city. Hijras are transgender who are born biologically male or intersexed but identify themselves as women. The word hijra is derived from the Urdu word hich-gah which is meant something without a proper place or journey. Hijras gathered and attached closely around their cultural group known as gharanas means houses. The present study deals with the issues a hijra faces in search for identity (gender) within and outside gharanas as an individual in society. The study adopted a qualitative exploratory research design and employed in-depth interview of thirteen hijras and four experts for data collection. The data is analysed with the help of thematic analysis network which explored the childhood and adolescence experiences, their serious lack of opportunities in expressing themselves in their biological family and their initial encounters with other transgender, are critical incidents in promoting adolescent hijras? self-acceptance. Gharanas are identified as a self-contained community with an organised structure, well-delineated roles, unique social norms and cultural practises wherein the guru-chela relationship has an authoritative and abusive style which monitors interpersonal relationship and friendships among hijras and „others?. A blend of hindu-muslim cultural identity is one of its kinds in gharanas and castration is considered as a gateway to womanhood. The political structure in gharanas indicates the presence of regulatory procedures to ensure the continuity of gharanas as a community and reaching out to society for acceptance and jamat is considered as a court lead by the nayaks of gharanas which keeps the deviant behaviour in gharanas in check and takes any key decisions. The mediating role of NGOs strives for the welfare of hijras and provides them a democratic platform to express themselves as individual persons. Existence of 2 hijras is ignored the law and they are denied of basic human rights and subjected to violence by police and gundas. Formulation of Government policies would ensure social entitlements and protection from relationship violence. Effective negotiation with gharanas by the NGOS and the Government could improve their standard of living in hamams/ gharanas. Transgender studies are useful in interdisciplinary knowledge generation and dissemination, planning of mental health services and creating public awareness to bridge the gap between hijras and common people. Keywords: Transgender, Identity, Status, Hijra, Gharanas, Guru-chela, Clan culture

Item Type:Monograph (Project Report)
Subjects:Publications > Publications by Faculty > Monographs
ID Code:5995
Deposited By:Knowledge Center Christ University
Deposited On:07 Mar 2014 15:08
Last Modified:24 Feb 2015 09:31

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