The Transgender Who Inspired Several of Her Kind-Shabnam“Mausi”Bano

Story Highlights
  • Shabnam ‘Mausi’ Bano is the first transgender person to be elected to public office.
  • Her political career spanned from 1998-2003.
  • She won her first feat from Sohagpur constituency in Madhya Pradesh's Shahdol-Annupur district.

Welcoming the pioneering judgment by the division bench of Justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and A.K. Sikri in National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India & Ors, the nation saw the acceptance of transgenders on a community level. Busting the gender structure of the society, the SC liberated the dual-gender category of Indians to live and let live.

However, much before the constitution approved of the transgenders as a part of the community, Shabnam “Mausi” Bano had already become part of the politics.

Shabnam Bano, born in a prestigious rich family, is the first transgender person in India to be elected to public office. It was not until the eunuchs, had come to bless her to find out that’s he was one amongst them. And so, the infant was sent away to live with the likes of hers.

Distant from home, Shabnam could just attend two years of primary school but stuns everyone with her multilingual talent that she embellished during her travel.

It was in 1998, that Shabnam ‘Masui’ Bano was elected as the MLA from the Sohagpur constituency in Madhya Pradesh’s Shahdol-Annupur district. Fighting for the likes of hers, Shabnam’s agenda included the wellbeing of the righteously respected genders also. Fighting against corruption and poverty, discrimination based on caste, sex and religion and most importantly the tags on transgenders were some of the issues she addressed aggressively.

In 2003, the transgender community in Madhya Pradesh established their own political party called “Jeeti Jitayi Politics” (JJP), which means ‘politics that has already been won’. The party released an eight-page manifesto to outline its political differences from mainstream politics.

Although she no longer fights politically, her imprint has left several of her kinds inspired to fight for themselves. Candidates polling for UP would also see one such youth who would be contesting from the Agra cantonment seat. A 26-year old transgender Radhika Bai would be an independent candidate after her nomination was approved on Monday.

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