A Right to Exist: Eunuchs and the State in Nineteenth-Century India

  title={A Right to Exist: Eunuchs and the State in Nineteenth-Century India},
  author={Laurence W. Preston},
  journal={Modern Asian Studies},
  pages={371 - 387}
A Common but curious sight of the Indian bazaar is the hijḍā, the ‘eunuch’ of Indian English. Obviously transvestites, the hijḍās beg from merchants who quickly, under threat of obscene abuse, respond to the silent demands of such detested individuals. On occasion, especially festival days, they press their claims with boisterous and ribald singing and dancing. Popular Indian opinion would label the hijḍās as nothing more than male prostitutes. Yet at the same time, and hinting at a more… 

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