Hijras and UIDAI registration: rights, recognition, transgender, violence

One critical site to think about UIDAI is in its distributed promise and threat for people identified as hijra, kinnar, aravani, khusra, khwaja, eunuch, and so forth (these different names and the distinctions they imply matter immensely—”hijra” is frequently both less available and less respectful as a term of reference or address, and I am of necessity less comfortable in the naming of this blog post). By distributed promise or hope and distributed violence or threat I mean both that the commitment to UID as a better guarantor of fundamental recognition, rights, identity, justice, and entitlements, and the concern about UID as a powerful form of policing, surveillance, and biological foreclosure of identity and the right to have rights, are unevenly claimed by different actors and groups within transgender communities and among the large NGO apparatus central to their contemporary governance.

So this next week in a series of short posts I would like to begin to look at emerging questions of UID and its relation to the politics of transgender survival, sovereignty, and policing. And maybe I will be able to rethink some of the questions of the duplicate that I began to frame this past week.


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