Madhu Bai Kinnar — First Dalit Transgender Woman Mayor
This piece was first published on 7rd April 2015 on DHM’s Social Media handles and is now being republished on Medium.com
Today in #DalitHistory we honour Madhu Bai Kinnar, the first elected Dalit openly Trans Mayor of India. Madhu made history when elected mayor of Raigarh, Chhattisgarh when she defeated her opponent by a margin of 4,500 votes.
This comes at a time when Transgenders in India face extreme economic, political, social, and cultural exclusion. India’s most recent census yielded the first official count of transgendered citizens at more than 490,000. However, transgender activists in the country estimate this number to be six to seven times higher.
Before running for Mayor, Madhu Kinnar earned a living by singing and dancing on Howrah to Mumbai trains, collecting money for her performances. Speaking on her victory, she says, “People have shown faith in me. I consider this win as love and blessings of people for me. I’ll put in my best efforts to accomplish their dreams”.
On her campaign, she says, “I have no experience, I’ve never made a public speech, but while campaigning, I went to every household. As is the traditional role of our people, I blessed each one of them for a good life ahead. After that, crowds started gathering near me, and people started supporting me.”
Madhu feels that her most important responsibility is towards her community. She believes providing them with jobs in the municipal corporation is a viable option in the right direction.
Madhu Kinnar’s victory as Mayor comes nine months after India’s supreme court ruled that transgender people could be legally recognised as gender-neutral, or a ‘third gender’. #JaiBhim