Manabi Bandopadhyay and an outstanding benchmark…….Congratulations India!

Posted: May 27, 2015 in Nation and Politics, Social
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Its not even a week when Ireland became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage through popular votes. A constitution that allows the same-sex couples to walk the aisle together was indeed a historic event wherein today Ireland is seen as the torchbearer of human equality on all grounds. Cut to 27 May 2015, couple of days after the profound victory, you open the newspaper and see that India has also put a step forward towards a more acceptable and evolved world. Defying all the “standard” norm of a civilized society, Krishnanagar Women’s College in West Bengal paved way for the world’s first transgender principal- Manabi Bandopadhyay.

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This bold move, taken by the College Service Commission, has propagated a strong social message that a successful professional career is only based on your talent as opposed to sexual orientation, caste or colour. Despite all the suffering and societal intimidation, Manabi worked hard, earned first class degree and became a Bengali lecturer in Jhargram College. Today, after becoming the first ever transgender principal, she is nothing less than a sough-after celebrity. However, this journey was never an easy one for her.


Manabi, born as Somnath Banerjee, was fascinated with classical dance and music since childhood. Somnath’s inner soul always howled that probably he needs to deviate from what is expected out of him; he wanted to break free and get soaked in the joy of being a woman. Alas, Somnath was taunted ruthlessly by his father and forced to visit psychiatrist regularly where he was given sleeping pills. Even after attaining a doctorate degree, he was called a Hijra and asked to vacant the professor quarters. After getting support from West Bengal Human Rights Commission, a Bengali transsexuals group was established by him and a notice was sent to the college. She also penned down the national bestseller Endless Bondage that talks about the condition of transgenders.

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In 2003, after many years of discrimination, Somnath underwent a sex change operation and liberated his soul from the forever enslavement–she was now Manabi. To her delight, she could wear a saree and savour her feminism like every woman.

Soon she fell in love with a businessman and married him. However, her husband was forced to leave when they were recurrently attacked by the people who were against this “unnatural” marriage. The court case that followed recognized her as a minor since she was only 3 years old as a WOMAN when the incident took place. (delusional, isn’t it?) Apart from being accused of child abuse and witchcraft, she was once beaten up by group of eunuchs at a rally. Still nothing could tame the ever-growing quench of empowerment and equality within her.



Leaving behind all days of misery, Manabi Bandopadhyay has today become a name to reckon with. Because of her will-power to move away from the prototype, her feet is no longer chained to the door that was keeping away her from happiness. Assigning her as the principal of an esteemed college wisely establishes that caliber should always be kept above social expectations.

While the whole country is battling the issue of feminism and rape- physical rape to be precise, the struggle story of Manabi -and several others like her- makes me wonder that still a lot has to be done to prevent the emotional rape that LGBT section is subjected to on a daily basis. It’s high time that we understand that the self-respect of an individual should not be injured because of frantic pretensions. Because putting chaos over credibility will only lead to suppressing of individuality. For now, kudos to Krishnanagar Women’s College for passing on the baton of goodwill ahead.

As someone has rightly said, “’To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly”

P.S: All pictures are a result of Google search and I have no copyright over them

  1. Akshit Choudhary says:

    Very informative. An excellent message delivered here. Loved the closing remarks!! Kudos Indrani.

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