About

Nazariya was formed in October 2014 by a group of queer feminist activists. Located in Delhi/NCR with a South Asian presence, Nazariya was started to sensitize the work and culture of groups and individuals that are working on issues of gender based violence, livelihoods, education and health from a LBT perspective through research & evaluations, capacity building and advocacy. We believe that queer perspective with a focus on LBT issues will help build linkages between issues of people margnalised the basis of gender and sexuality with the existing work on violence, livelihoods, education, health etc. and thereby impact the discourse on pleasure, desire, rights and entitlements.

Nazariya’s mission:

Nazariya is a queer feminist organization that believes all LBT* people have the innate capacity to understand, demand; and access their rights. The organization works towards affirming the rights of queer people (LBT) by making visible their lives and creating an enabling environment where queer lived realities is a non negotiable and informs the work and discourse of organizations and institutions.

Why LBT ?:

Nazariya works with a special focus on issues and concerns of Lesbian Bisexual Women and Trans*[1](LBT) people assigned female at birth. Lesbian Bisexual and trans* people assigned female at birth (LBTFAB)[2] face double marginalization because of their sexual orientation and their gender assigned to them at birth which is female.

For Nazariya, gender is beyond the binary of man and woman. It recognizes gender as a structure, which has different norms for people assigned female and male at birth. Nazariya consciously challenges the binary framework in its work, vision and agenda. Nazariya will ensure that this understanding of gender permeates into organisations working on gender in different capacities. Its understanding on sexuality also moves beyond violence and identities. For Nazariya, sexuality is a lens, which will help analyse institutions, issues and structures and thereby address issues of margnalisation and inclusivity in a holistic manner. 

We also conduct researches, trainings and reviews on demand.

[1] Trans* is an umbrella term for transgender people, gender queer people or people who do not confirm to notions of gender assigned to them at birth.

[2] Nazariya uses the term T*FAB because it’s a broad category of people who were assigned female gender at birth. A term like trans masculine excludes people who are genderqueer and people who do not want to exclude the feminine aspect of their identity.

 

Remarkable Judgement by Supreme Court reaffirming the rights of a trans person, Shivy

In the wake of a controversial case of illegal confinement of an adult transperson and withholding of his travel and identity documents by his family, Hon’ble Justice Siddarth Mridul of the Delhi High Court has passed a judgement withholding the rights of Shivy as a transgender in Shivani Bhat v State of NCT of Delhi and Ors on the 5th of October, 2015.

19-year-old transgender person Shivy, a citizen of India but a resident of the United States of America was illegally confined in his grandparents’ home in Agra when he came with his parents to visit them in the summer. While he was a victim of domestic abuse by his family even in his California home, on this visit to India his passport and green card were confiscated by his family and he was forced to remain in Agra under their control. Even under this duress, Shivy managed to contact queer feminist resource group Nazariya and other queer rights activists and request their help to come to a safe space in New Delhi.

Despite leaving a note informing his family that he was leaving of his own free will, his parents filed a missing person’s complaint with UP Police with the support of Delhi police, harassed, surveilled and threatened the activists who helped Shivy. Subsequently lawyers Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju, Shivy and the LGBT activists moved the Delhi High Court on September 22 seeking protection for Shivy, his friends and well wishers from harassment, intimidation and coercion, and to ask for the return of his passport and green card from his family.

In an outstanding judgment on the case dated 5th October, 2015, Hon’ble Justice Siddarth Mridul “The present petition highlights and brings to the fore the socio-economic marginalization and exclusion of those whose behavior is considered “inappropriate” by society. It clearly demonstrates that those who do not conform, render themselves vulnerable to harassment and violence not just by the Police but also by society that ridicules them. Transgenders have long lived on the fringes of society, often in poverty, ostracized severely, because of their gender identity. They have for too long had to endure public ridicule and humiliation; have been socially marginalized and excluded from society, their basic human rights have been severely denuded.

The judgement reads, “Despite the decision of the Hon’ble Supreme course in National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India and Ors: (2014) 5 SCC 438, the trauma, agony and pain, which members of the transgender community have to undergo continues unabated.

It further says, “Every human being has certain inalienable rights. This is a doctrine that is firmly enshrined in our constitution. Gender identity and Sexual orientation are fundamental to the right of self-determination, dignity and freedom of individuals. A transgender’s sense or experience of gender is integral to their core personality and sense of being. Insofar as, I understand the law, everyone has a fundamental right to be recognized in their chosen gender. This view is buttressed by the landmark decision of the Supreme Court in National Legal Services Authority (supra)”

Upholding the rights of transgender persons, the judgement also says, “There is, thus, no gainsaying the fact that transgenders enjoy basic human rights including protection from violence and discrimination. They have the right to dignity and self-determination.”

The judgement also mentioned the false FIR lodged against Unknown persons supporting and helping Shivy in the time of help. Mr. Avi Singh, Additional Standing Counsel (Crl.) assured the court that Delhi Police does not intend to take coercive steps either against Shivani or against those who offered to support her.

Despite being served notice, there was no representative from respondent No. 2 the State of Uttar Pradesh but the court has issued a direction to respondent No. 2 not to harass or illegally confine anybody from within the territorial jurisdiction of this court except in accordance with the procedure established by law.

Shivy says that he is happy with the judgement and he can continue with his life and studies in the US now.

Rituparna Borah from Nazariya says, “I am elated with the judgement as it upholds individual freedom and liberty of gender identity and sexual expression. Hope this judgement helps other people who are still struggling and facing custodial violence from family.”

Lesley Esteves, a queer rights activist who was part of Shivy’s support network, said that “I would be proud to have a son like Shivy, unlike his parents Laxminarayan Bhat and Seema Rani Bhat who abysmally failed to support him. Instead they illegally dispossessed him of his documents and confined him against his will because of their severe transphobia and utter disrespect for law. They knowingly filed a false complaint against us with UP Police alleging that he was kidnapped, despite receiving a letter from him that he was leaving of his own free will. Effectively, his abductors tried to charge others with kidnapping, in order to cut off his support system in India.  But the parents did not imagine that a court would step in to protect constitutional rights of Shivy and other queer people supporting him. They were firmly rebuked by the court today, when they were told by the judge that he would “end this bigotry today”. We are greatly encouraged by this judgment. The LGBTQIA movement will continue to fight for inalienable rights of transpersons when their families act criminally against them”.

Trans person Shivy’s case

September 22nd 2015 Delhi High Court interim order in Shivani Bhat v State of NCT of Delhi and ors – a positive step for rights of people marginalized on the basis of gender and sexuality

In a remarkable interim order on 22nd September, the Delhi High Court directed the Delhi Police to provide protection to 19-year-old Shivy and LGBTQ activists supporting him from the harassment, intimidation and coercion they are facing by his family, Uttar Pradesh Police and Delhi Police. Shivy is a trans person (who was assigned female at birth but identifies as male), Indian citizen and resident of the U.S., whose family, on learning of his gender identity and sexual orientation, tricked him into returning to India from the US where he has lived since age 3 years and currently studies, confiscated his passport and green card, and forced him to stay in his grandparents’ home in Agra against his will. The queer activists who on his request helped him escape were harassed, intimidated and illegally surveilled for days by his family, the Delhi and UP Police.

Quoting playwright and activist late Safdar Hashmi who had talked about how our expression is based on the experience that we have, Justice Siddharth Mridul commented on how it was that people are so quick to pass judgement on things they know little about, that may not be their own experience, like sexual orientation. He noted that this was nothing but bigotry, though this is supposed to be a tolerant country.

PRESS RELEASE

​New Delhi

25th September, 2015

In the wake of a controversial case of illegal confinement of an adult transperson and withholding of their travel and identity documents by his family, a press conference was held at the Indian Women’s Press Corps (IWPC) on 25th September, 2015 to highlight issues of transgender rights that have come up in Shivani Bhat v State of NCT of Delhi and others..

19-year-old transgender person Shivy, a citizen of India but a resident of the United States of America was illegally confined in his grandparents’ home in Agra when he came with his parents to visit them in the summer. While he was a victim of domestic abuse by his family even in his California home, on this visit to India his passport and green card were confiscated by his family and he was forced to remain in Agra under their control. Even under this duress, Shivy managed to contact queer feminist resource group Nazariya and other queer rights activists and request their help to come to a safe space in New Delhi.

Despite leaving a note informing his family that he was living of his own free will, his parents filed a missing person’s complaint with UP Police, who harassed, surveilled and threatened the activists who helped Shivy, illegally entered their homes without search warrants on September 21, and abused and threatened people in their homes and offices. The UP Police were enabled and supported by UP Crime Branch and Delhi Police. Subsequently lawyers Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju, Shivy and the LGBT activists moved the Delhi High Court on September 22 seeking protection for Shivy, his friends and well wishers from harassment, intimidation and coercion, and to ask for the return of his passport and green card from his family.

In a remarkable interim order, Delhi High Court judge Siddharth Mridul granted Shivy and LGBT activists’ protection from any harassment by the police. Quoting playwright and activist late Safdar Hashmi who had talked about how our expression is based on the experience that we have, Justice Siddharth Mridul commented on how it was that people are so quick to pass judgment on things they know little about, that may not be their own experience, like sexual orientation. He noted that this was nothing but bigotry, though this is supposed to be a tolerant country.

The court also issued notice to respondents Delhi police, UP police and his parents. Despite the order, the next day the UP police continued to harass and surveil the activists involved in the case.

The press conference uncovered both the facts of the case and the frequent occurences of such situations where adult LGBTQ people are deprived of the constitutionally sanctioned rights to life, liberty, freedom of movement and expression, to name a few, by families in collusion with state machinery.

Queer rights activist Lesley Esteves pointed out that this was not the first time he had been threatened and intimidated by families for responding to requests for support from transgender persons facing such violence from families, and that it was remarkable that families would send aggressive police machinery in pursuit of their children, while claiming to be concerned about them. He noted that the police action was nothing more than an attempt by the family to cut off Shivy’s support system in India through intimidation, and the false missing person complaint was a naked attempt to get him back in their control. He said that families can expect state machinery to support them because of deep rooted societal homophobia and transphobia which treats LGBTQ people as not entitled to equal rights. But the law was in fact on Shivy’s side and the interim order effectively prevented the continued abrogation of his constitutional rights.

It is important to note that besides the fundamental rights available to Shivy, his affirming constitutional rights and freedoms as a transgender person have been upheld by the Supreme Court in its landmark 2014 NALSA judgement.

WATCH MORE VIDEOS from Nazariya’s YouTube channel.

PRESS COVERAGE

  1. DNA: Transgender boy, Shivy, harassed, beaten by parents
    Delhi High Court grants police protection to 19-year-old US transgender
  2. India West: Transgender US College Student Trapped in India
  3. The Hans India: Delhi HC provides protection to NRI transgender rescued from Agra
  4. NYOOZ: Activists hail Delhi HC order on transgender
    UP cops harassing us for helping US transgender, allege LGBT activists
  5. The Indian Express: Activists hail Delhi HC order on transgender
     UP cops harassing us for helping US transgender, allege LGBT activists
  6. NDTV: Delhi High Court Provides Police Protection to NRI Transgender Rescued from Agra
  7. Bharat Press: My Family is No Safe Place for Me: Transgender NRI
  8. Deccan Herald: HC gives protection to NRI transgender ‘forcibly’ brought here
  9. Daijiworld: My Family is No Safe Place for Me: Transgender NRI
  10. Press Trust of India: HC gives protection to NRI transgender
  11. Business Standard: My Family is No Safe Place for Me: Transgender NRI
    HC gives protection to NRI transgender “forcibly” brought to India
  12. New Kerala: My Family is No Safe Place for Me: Transgender NRI
  13. CanIndia News: My Family is No Safe Place for Me: Transgender NRI
  14. Times of India: Delhi HC gives protection to NRI transgender “forcibly” brought to India
  15. India: HC gives protection to NRI transgender “forcibly” brought to India
  16. The Huffington Post: WATCH: 19-year-old Indian-Origin Transgender Man Needs Your Help
  17. ScoopWhoop: 19-Year-Old Forced To Stay In India By Parents Gets Help From Delhi HC
    ‘My Parents Abused Me Verbally & Physically’. Indian-American Transperson Opens Up About Harassment
  18. The Quint: Freedom from Gender, Freedom for Sexuality #MakeOutInIndia
    #MakeOutInIndia: NRI Trans Man Appeals Against His Parents
  19. iDiva: A Horrid Tale of a 19-Year-Old Trans Person Abused by Parents for Not Being a ‘Proper Girl’
  20. Youth ki Awaaz: Forced Into Becoming A Proper Girl By Parents, Trans Teen Shivy Escapes To Share Stpry
  21. Gayapolis: Transgender Man in India Get Court Protection from Abusive Parents
  22. Storypick: An Indian Transperson Talks About How His Parents Tried To Fix Him & It’s Distressing
  23. Yahoo News UK: Transgender man tricked by Indian parents secures police protection
  24. Livemint: ‘There is no reason why I should go through this’: a first-person account of a teenage trans-man
  25. PinkNews: Indian court protects trans man ‘forced into arranged marriage’ with another man
  26. FTC Publications: India court protects US transgender man
  27. BBC News: India court gives police protection to US transgender man

Towards a new Nazariya: Appeal for funds

Hello friends!

Nazariya is a young queer feminist resource group started by Purnima Gupta, Ritambhara Mehta, Rituparna Borah, and Suchi Kushwah in Delhi NCR. Our work focuses on issues and concerns of lesbian and bisexual women, and trans* people assigned female at birth (LBTFAB). LBTFAB people face marginalization because of both their sexual orientation and the female gender assigned to them at birth.

In India, work on LGBT issues is mainly in the sphere of HIV & AIDS, sexual and gender identities, and the law (Section 377, IPC). But there are many ways in which LBT people are excluded and marginalised that are not often recognised and dealt with in the existing work on violence, livelihoods, education, health, etc.:


  1. The non-inclusion of LBT people in gender-based violence/violence against women, health, education, and livelihoods intervention

  2. At the workspace: Very few organisations acknowledge that LBT people should be included in their workspace. Even with them, the work environment and their human resource policies are not queer-friendly

  3. Limited outreach: There are no support groups that work in small towns and rural areas

  4. Lack of an intersectionality approach: There is a need to start looking at sexual identities in relation to the multiple identities interplaying in social structure, such as that of class, caste, religion, ability, region, age, etc.


It is in this gap that Nazariya places its intervention, expanding existing LBT discourse and work into the realm of rights, entitlements, desire, pleasure…

                                                                                                                                                 


Nazariya believes all LBT people have the innate capacity to understand, demand, and access their rights. The organization works towards affirming the rights of LBT people by making their lives visible and creating an enabling environment where queer lived realities are non-negotiable and inform the work and discourse of organizations and institutions.
Queer lived realities pertain to acts, ideologies or ways of being which defy prevalent norms dictated and naturalised by the dominant patriarchal regime. Our perspective, therefore, is not only to include LBT people and politics in our realm of work, but also to include people and politics that face discrimination for existing in any way outside of privileged societal strictures. 

   

The locus of our intervention will be through:

  • Conducting workshops and training programmes with organisations working on violence, livelihood, health, and education to build perspective on LBT issues

  • Action research for direct interventions that benefit queer lives in urban and rural centres

  • Setting up an LBT resource centre/advocacy group/network/library focused on South Asia

  • Fellowships for LBT youth from marginalised communities and regions

Nazariya is in its first year, working on setting up a grounding. It’s a fact that queer initiatives in our country mostly receive funding only from outside India. However, Nazariya was registered in March 2014, and getting an FCRA permit to accept funds from outside the country won’t be possible for another three years. Till then, we’ll need to find funding resources solely from within India for our work.


In order to conduct our consultancies and workshops, engage with universities and communities, and build a research network, we need an organisational setup in place:

  • Our staff currently comprises two full-time and two part-time members, and we need to expand our team by a full-time programme staff and a consultant for operational development.

  • We don’t have an office space! We’re in need of a working space for the team, with modest requisite office resources: one desktop/laptop, Tally for accounts, stationery, kitchen setup, etc.


To make a donation, write to us on nazariya.qfrg@gmail.com or call us on +91-99999 77272 & +91-98182 00807. We consider no amount small. We’ll be glad to hear from you!

For more about us:

Facebook: Nazariya Qfrg | Twitter: @NazariyaQFRG

Our blog: nazariyaqfrg.wordpress.com


We are registered as Nazariya Foundation under sub-section (2) of section 7 of the Companies Act, 2013, and rule 8 of the Companies (Incorporation) Rules, 2014, and have received 12A and  80G certification. Nazariya has a bank account.

Thank you and warm regards,
The

Nazariya Team

Nomenclature: 
  • Trans* is an umbrella term for transgender people, genderqueer people, or people who do not conform to notions of gender assigned to them at birth. 
  • Nazariya uses the term T*FAB because it’s a broad category of people who were assigned female gender at birth. A term like ‘trans masculine’ excludes people who are genderqueer and people who do not want to exclude the feminine aspect of their identity.

Launch of Nazariya with a film show “Our Marriages” and a Panel discussion

May 2nd 2015 4 Panel Discussion

Nazariya launched itself with a film called, Our Marriages. Our marriages- When Lesbians Marry gay Men (China, 2013) is a film directed  Dr. He Xiaopei (Executive Director, Pink Space Sexuality – China) the film follows the negotiations, the weddings, and the lives of four lesbians for two years in a big city in the North East of China, documenting their maneuvers and problems. The film raises questions and reflections with regard to the institution of marriage and homosexual life in contemporary Chinese society.

After the launch, there was a panel discussion on Marriage. The panelists were Dr. He He Xiaopei, Dr. Nivedita Menon and Jaya Sharma. The panel was moderated by Rituparna Borah from Nazariya

Nazariya was formed in October 2014 by a group of queer feminist activists. Located in Delhi/NCR with a South Asian presence, Nazariya was started to sensitize the work and culture of groups and individuals that are working on issues of gender based violence, livelihoods, education and health from a LBT perspective through research & evaluations, capacity building and advocacy. We believe that queer perspective with a focus on LBT issues will help build linkages between issues of people margnalised the basis of gender and sexuality with the existing work on violence, livelihoods, education, health etc. and thereby impact the discourse on pleasure, desire, rights and entitlements.

Nazariya’s mission:

Nazariya is a queer feminist organization that believes all LBT* people have the innate capacity to understand, demand; and access their rights. The organization works towards affirming the rights of queer people (LBT) by making visible their lives and creating an enabling environment where queer lived realities is a non negotiable and informs the work and discourse of organizations and institutions.

Why LBT ?:

Nazariya works with a special focus on issues and concerns of Lesbian Bisexual Women and Trans*[1](LBT) people assigned female at birth. Lesbian Bisexual and trans* people assigned female at birth (LBTFAB)[2] face double marginalization because of their sexual orientation and their gender assigned to them at birth which is female.

For Nazariya, gender is beyond the binary of man and woman. It recognizes gender as a structure, which has different norms for people assigned female and male at birth. Nazariya consciously challenges the binary framework in its work, vision and agenda. Nazariya will ensure that this understanding of gender permeates into organisations working on gender in different capacities. Its understanding on sexuality also moves beyond violence and identities. For Nazariya, sexuality is a lens, which will help analyse institutions, issues and structures and thereby address issues of margnalisation and inclusivity in a holistic manner. 

We also conduct researches, trainings and reviews on demand.

[1] Trans* is an umbrella term for transgender people, gender queer people or people who do not confirm to notions of gender assigned to them at birth.

[2] Nazariya uses the term T*FAB because it’s a broad category of people who were assigned female gender at birth. A term like trans masculine excludes people who are genderqueer and people who do not want to exclude the feminine aspect of their identity.