Less than 24 hours after people came out in the streets of Bangalore to demand greater acceptance by society and equal rights, the death of a 21 year old transgender has shocked the city .
Vamshi Raju, a 21 yr old engineering student from Yeshwantapur, committed suicide after having a fight with his parents. Vamshi was transgender and had taken an active part in the pride parade held in Bangalore this Sunday. His pictures were beamed on Television and after returning from the pride, he had a fight with his parents at night, who forbade him to meet other transgender people. Soon after, he committed suicide by drinking poison.
Vamshi’s parents knew about his transgender identity, but were not happy and had not accepted him. He would face violence in the hands of his parents regularly. “It is not the first time. Even last week he faced severe physical violence by his father at his home and had to seek shelter in a transgender friend’s house at about 11 pm,” told Manohar Elavarthi, a human rights activist. “He was going through a lot of family harassment for more than a year. His family was harassing him so that he won’t interact with sexual minority community members. They had even stopped him from going to his college for 2 months last year,” he revealed.
Media reports quoted DCP (North) Sandeep Patil as saying, “In the death note, he mentioned that he was not a good son to his parents and had made them unhappy. We have been enquiring with his friends and some of them have made allegations on parents. We are still investigating the case.”
The tragic death of such a young transgender person once again brings to the front the many difficulties that sexual minorities in India have to face. Many Human Rights Organisations, Community Based Organisations, and NGOs working for the rights of sexual minorities have condemned the harassment meted out to the Vamshi and conveyed their deep condolences at the death of another member of the community.