Services of a sailor with the Indian Navy, who has become a woman after having undergone a gender reassignment surgery, are threatened with termination for the Navy does not permit women to work as sailors in India’s maritime force.
Confronted with a peculiar situation where an active marine returned to INS Eksila Base in Vishakhapatnam after having undergone a sex change surgery in Mumbai last year, the Naval officers wrote to the government for discharge of service of the marine under SLNR (service no longer required) provision.
The Navy is said to be of the view that the sailor had violated essential terms and conditions under which he was recruited because he had joined the navy, seven years ago, as “an Indian male citizen”. Though the Indian Navy has been recruiting women since 1990, but they are inducted only in superior positions and not as sailors, airmen and soldiers.
A source dealing with the case, one conditions of anonymity said,
“There is no specific rule or regulation to deal with such sex-change operations or transgender people in the armed forces. After much deliberations, a show-cause notice, a medical examination and other proceedings, the Navy has decided she cannot continue as a sailor in the force.”
The man turned woman has grown hair, wears a sari and has been attached to the office of INS Eksila commanding officer, under the Eastern Naval Command.
The source further said:
“The sailor had joined the Naval mechanical engineering wing seven years ago, got married and even has a child. The sailor, once discharged, will not get any pension because it is mandatory to serve for at least 15 years to become eligible for it.”
Faced with transgender people joining the armed forces, US President Donald Trump, only last week, signed a presidential memo that bans transgender people from working in the armed forces. In fact Trump has even overturned his predecessor Barrack Obama’s decision and banned Pentagon from paying for sex-reassignment surgeries and related medical treatment to serving troops.