A transgender woman scripted history by winning civic polls for election as Mayor in Raigarh, India.
Independent candidate Madhu Kinnar beat Bharatiya Janata Party’s Mahaveer Guruji by 4,357 votes to become the first transgender mayor of Raigarh Municipal Corporation, according to a report by India-based New Delhi Television (NDTV).
35-year-old Kinnar previously worked as a singer and dancer on trains between Howrah and Mumbai, and stopped only when she was asked to stand for mayor. “It was the public support that encouraged me to enter the poll fray for the first time and because of their support only, I emerged as the winner,” she said. After winning, Madhu said people had shown faith in her and will put best efforts to accomplish their dreams.
Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh congratulated all of the winning candidates. “I hope they will fulfill their responsibilities and will cooperate with the government for the state’s development,” said Singh.
In a landmark ruling issued by the Indian Supreme Court in 2014, transgender people have been recognized as “third gender.” There are an estimated two million transgender people in India.
On 11 December 2013 India’s Supreme Court upheld a colonial-era law which criminalises same-sex sexual activity. It overturned a 2009 New Delhi High Court decision that ruled the law unconstitutional. The ruling caused outrage among LGBT activists and many of the county’s politicians. Despite several attempts to have the ruling thrown out, it remains.