Karunanidhi Stands Up For Transgender People, Demands No. 9 Be Dropped From Forms As Transgender Code

DMK Chief M Karunanidhi

DMK chief M Karunanidhi has asked the Centre to rectify the 6th Economic Census forms and drop number 9 as the code assigned for transgender in the gender identity column. In Tamil Nadu, the number 9 has a derogatory undertone and is used to tease the community. Karunanidhi has demanded that the Centre take steps to rectify the mistake, even if the State Government has not sought any action.

“During his previous government, Karunanidhi said, ration cards were issued with the specific letter ‘T’ to denote transgender people. However, in the economic census form, the numbers one and two have been assigned for male and female categories and nine for transgender people,” The Times of India reported. It further quoted Karunanidhi as saying, “The community members complain that the number is used to tease them and with the government itself using it, it further belittles us.” “Why can’t they use the numbers three or four for us? Why the number nine?” questioned transgender activist Priya Babu.

The economic census has been taken up by the Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation to provide up-to-date and detailed information of all establishments/units involved in any economic activity within India for a comprehensive analysis of the structure of the economy (macro, micro, regional levels). The gender category in the form has been coded, with 1 and 2 being assigned for Male and Female respectively, and 9 for Transgenders/others.