We are still living in a brutal society which refuses to accept transpeople, who are primarily those whose sense of personal identity and gender do not correspond with sex assigned at birth.
We are all witnesses to something historical that happened. Sayantan Ghosh, better known as Megh Sayantan Ghosh, became the first transgender lawyer to win a case at Alipore Judges Court this February 2018. Besides that, Megh is a professional dancer and she herself started a dance troop named Rudrapolash, which is the first transgender dance group in West Bengal.
Megh Sayantan Ghosh is the first transgender lawyer who is fighting for the enrollment of the transgender community in the Bar Council. Megh has received many national awards. She also received awards from Techno India, apart from the ‘Exceptional Mother’ award from Women Times on Mothers Day.
Born in Sonarpur, Sayantan started her childhood as a normal boy, she completed her schooling and passed both Madhyamik and higher secondary examination with first division from Jadavpur Vidyapith, Kolkata. “From the very first day of my school, I was not treated normally like other students in school were, because of the feminine instinct in me. I used to dress myself up as a girl using my mother’s kajal, lipsticks and other cosmetics. My classmates, seniors would mock me and called me Chakka, Hijra, Meyeli, Gay,” said Megh.
“I started getting attracted to the same sex when I was in class 7. I got sexually harassed by my own school seniors when I was in the 8th standard and none of them was punished by the school authorities as some of the faculty members were also involved in the act and were too busy making fun of the entire incident,” she added.
Megh joined Hazra Law college in the year 2006 and passed BA LLB with first class in the year 2011. Within a year i.e, in 2012 she joined Alipore Judges Court as the civil and matrimonial lawyer. Her colleagues would mock her within the court premises but Megh didn’t give up and continued to move forward as a lawyer. She further said, “Debobroto Chakraborty, who is a senior advocate, supported me and is still guiding me in my career.” Megh got her first case in the year 2017 and won the case in the month of February 2018 and became the first transgender lawyer in India to win a case. Being a transgender is my birthright, it’s not an identity. The meaning of my name, Megh, clouds, which do not have any particular gender. Acceptance is still a dire need in this society as there are many transpeople who failed to overcome the situations that they are in and I want to help them in every possible way,” Megh said.
National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India is a landmark decision by the Supreme Court of India, which declared transpeople as the ‘third gender’, affirmed that the fundamental rights granted under the Constitution of India will be equally applicable them, and gave them the right to self-identification of their gender as male, female or third-gender. This judgement is a major step towards gender equality in India. Moreover, the court also held that because transgenders were treated socially and economically as a backward class, they will be granted reservations in admissions to educational institutions and jobs.
Megh is also considering directing a dance drama based on the story of Rabindranath Tagore, along with Mahabharata and Nabadurga.
“WE DONT NEED ANY SYMPATHY, WE NEED EMPATHY AND ACCEPTANCE FROM THE MAINSTREAM SOCIETY” concluded Megh.