Shabnam Mausi

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Shabnam "Mausi" Bano (शबनम मौसी) ("Mausi" noun. Hindi - "Aunty") is the first transgender Indian to be elected to public office (MLA).[1] She was an elected member of the Madhya Pradesh State Legislative Assembly from 1998 to 2003. (Hijras were granted voting rights in 1994 in India.)

Early life[edit]

She was born visibly intersex[2][3] and was given a masculine name. Her father, a police superintendent of the Brahmin caste, gave her away shortly after she was born to protect his own social image.[4]

She attended only two years of primary schooling but learned 12 languages during her travels.

Political career[edit]

Shabnam Mausi was elected from the Sohagpur constituency in Madhya Pradesh state's Shahdol-Anuppur district. As a member of the Legislative Assembly, her agenda included fighting corruption, unemployment, poverty, and hunger, as well as speaking out against discrimination against transgender people, hijras, eunuchs, cross-dressers and raising awareness about HIV/AIDS.


Shabnam Mausi inspired many transgender people in India to take up politics and participate in 'mainstream activities' in India, giving up their traditional roles as dancers, prostitutes, and beggars, living on the fringes of Indian society; for example they sometimes attend weddings or the house of a newborn child offering services to ward off bad luck.[citation needed]

Jeeti Jitayi Politics (JJP)[edit]

In 2003, hijras in Madhya Pradesh established their own political party called "Jeeti Jitayi Politics" (JJP), which literally means 'politics that has already been won'.[5] The party released an eight-page manifesto to outline its political differences from the mainstream.

Popular culture[edit]

In 2005, a fiction feature film titled Shabnam Mausi[6] was made about her life. It was directed by Yogesh Bharadwaj, and the role of Shabnam Mausi was played by Ashutosh Rana.

Although she is no longer in public office, Shabnam Mausi continues to participate actively in AIDS/HIV with NGOs and gender activists in India.

"We brothers and sisters often face stigma and discrimination because of our sexual orientation and gender identity. Talking openly about AIDS helps us understand each other!" - Shabnam Mausi


  1. ^ "Telangana assembly elections 2018: Chandramukhi eyes Goshamahal glory, ready for tryst with 1st transgender party". The Times of India. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  2. ^ Zaal, Grote (26 May 2007). "Shabnam Mousi – Be Aware: Different Starting Time". Netherlands Transgender Film Festival 2007. Retrieved 25 March 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ Kalra, Sanjay (28 August 2016). "The Eunuchs of India: An Endocrine Eye Opener". Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. 16 (3): 377–380. doi:10.4103/2230-8210.95676. PMC 3354843. PMID 22629502 – via PubMed.
  4. ^ India TV News Desk (17 July 2014). "Shabnam Mausi-India's first eunuch to become an MLA". Retrieved 19 August 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "Our election promise?". DNA India. 29 April 2009. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  6. ^ Shabnam Mausi, retrieved 4 February 2019

External links[edit]