Friday, November 02, 2007

Ippadikku Rose

Star Vijay is set to beam a new talk show "Ippadikku Rose" (Yours truly, Rose), which will focus on social issues such as discrimination, child abuse and social taboos. How is this any different from Oprah, you say? For starters, Rose is no ordinary woman, she is India's first transgender TV anchor. Surprised? Well, I am - that the ultra conservative Tamil society is the first to announce something like this.

Actually, it shouldn't come as such a big surprise. All transvestites/eunuchs/transgender folks gather at the Koothandavar temple in Vilupuram district of TamilNadu for an annual festival where they get "married" to the diety there (Koothandavar is a transgender god himself). Given that this is the only place in India that these misunderstood and mistreated folk can call their own, it is only fitting that the first transgender TV host should be Tamil. Most Indian transgender people can speak Tamil, by the way.

Now lets not jump the gun by saying this is the beginning of better understanding and treatment of the third gender. The show is set to air in December, and I expect the usual protests from the so called moral guardians of the society. But if Pakistan can be proud of a transgender TV personality, why not us?

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