Indian Journal of Social Psychiatry

: 2018  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 79--85

The hijras of India: A marginal community with paradox sexual identity

Sibsankar Mal 
 Department of Geography, SSM College, Keshpur, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Mr. Sibsankar Mal
R-34/2 Sharatpally, D. B. Road, Near P. H. E. Office, Midnapore, Paschim Medinipur - 721 101, West Bengal

Transgender people in India, commonly known as the Hijras, who claim to be neither male nor female, are socially excluded in Indian society. The uniqueness of Hijras lies not only in their existence beyond social structure but also in Indian society's historical acceptance of that position. This study aims to understand the sociocultural exclusion of Hijras, depending on their gender identity disorder and their paradox sexual appearance. An exploratory cum descriptive research design with a nonrandom purposive sampling including the snowball technique was adopted, to collect information from 51 Hijras at Kharagpur town from the state of West Bengal, India. The study shows that although Hijras have a sort of sanctioned and visible place in Hindu society, but in the contemporary Indian context, it is the gender nonconformity of the Hijra that has a major impact besides lack of a gender recognition, sexual expression, employment, decent housing, subsidized health-care services, and as well as the violence they suffer, especially when they choose to take up formal works. Therefore, Hijras are controversial and minacious community in Indian society and their existence disrupts essential ideas about sex or gender. They need to be recognized as having a space on society's gender continuum. Vertical interventions of rights are greatly needed to address the unique needs of this marginalized group and recognizing them as equal citizens of India.

How to cite this article:
Mal S. The hijras of India: A marginal community with paradox sexual identity.Indian J Soc Psychiatry 2018;34:79-85

How to cite this URL:
Mal S. The hijras of India: A marginal community with paradox sexual identity. Indian J Soc Psychiatry [serial online] 2018 [cited 2022 Jan 26 ];34:79-85
Available from:;year=2018;volume=34;issue=1;spage=79;epage=85;aulast=Mal;type=0