The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has approved the renaming of two villages in Haryana because of their “embarrassing” names.
One was a village named Ganda, which means ‘dirty’ in Hindi. I guess it’s understandable that the residents of Ganda didn’t want to be associated with that name. The government sanctioned the change of the village’s name from Ganda to Ajit Nagar in response to a letter that a teenaged resident of Ganda, Harpreet Kaur Malkat, wrote to the Prime Minister.
The other village whose name has been changed is Kinnar, which is now called Gaibi Nagar. The residents of Kinnar were embarrassed that they lived in a village whose name means Hijra, a transgender identity, and the Huffington Post reports that youngsters from the village have been lobbying for a few years now to have the name changed. Isn’t that a bit sad, especially if it’s youngsters who are calling for the change, and the government of India that finds the complaint reasonable?
While the Supreme Court may have recognised the third gender in its landmark ruling in the NALSA case in 2014, it’s evidence of the ostracism and stereotyping they face that people still associate transgender identities with shame and embarrassment, and want the name of their village changed for no there reason than that it means Hijra. The residents of Purush Pal and Purushwadi, for example, seem to be just fine with the names of their villages.