(AFP) – May 11, 2010
ITANAGAR, India — A regiment of eunuchs should be established to guard India's borders and leading politicians, a state minister suggested on Tuesday, citing their "loyalty and integrity".
"In my humble opinion, if eunuchs are engaged in policing or paramilitary forces they would do a better service to the nation," Tako Dabi, home minister of the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, told AFP.
Dabi had sent a letter to Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram and the department officially acknowledged receiving his idea.
"Why can't there be a separate regiment of eunuch community in our country?" he wrote in the letter. "This community would discharge their duties effectively on international borders if enough scope is created for them."
In India the term "eunuch" is mostly used to refer to cross-dressers and pre- and post-operative transsexuals.
Indian eunuchs are severely marginalised and, unable to gets jobs, rely on begging and the sex trade for income.
They also attend weddings and births uninvited, as many people believe it is inauspicious to turn them away without giving them money.
Dabi, speaking in Itanagar, the capital of Arunachal Pradesh -- which has a long border with China -- said that during the Mughal empire castrated eunuchs had often been employed for the task of guarding harems.
Eunuchs last year won the right to be recognised as "others", rather than male or female, on electoral rolls and voter identity cards.
Dabi is known for his original ideas. In March he defended policemen who consumed alcohol on duty saying it gave them extra energy.
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