[Hpn] Bye Bill, Hello George It won't matter to America's poor

chance martin streetsheet@sf-homeless-coalition.org
Sun, 14 Jan 2001 13:44:06 -0700


http://news.excite.com/news/r/010114/09/odd-eunuchs-dc

India's Eunuchs to Launch Political Party
Updated 9:05 AM ET January 14, 2001

BHOPAL, India (Reuters) - Eunuchs in the central Indian state of Madhya
Pradesh will start a national political party with membership open to all
sexes, the country's only eunuch legislator said Sunday.

Shabnam Mausi or "aunt" Shabnam, who is a member of the state's legislative
assembly, said she would apply before the Election Commission of India for
national party recognition after January 26.

India's eunuchs, called "hijras" and thought to number about 500,000, are
mostly men castrated at puberty but they are referred to as "she." The
expression is broadly used to describe those classified as neither male nor
female.

Heerabai, another eunuch elected to a local public office, said the party
would be launched in Jabalpur on the festival of Basant Panchami on January
29. Hindus pray to the goddess of learning on Basant Panchami.

Intellectuals, traders, advocates and doctors who desire a "clean atmosphere
in politics" could join the party, Shabnam said.

She refused to disclose the name of the party but said the word "Eunuch"
will be included.

Eunuchs have a marked presence in Madhya Pradesh politics with two mayors,
one legislator and three senior business executives.

In November, voters of Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh state elected Asha Devi, a
eunuch, as mayor.

Observers had said her victory marked another step toward social acceptance
for a community that has been reviled for centuries.  2001 At Home
Corporation.


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