Indian Navy recently fired a sailor from Vishakhapatnam for “breaching recruitment regulations and eligibility criteria”. The 25-year-old sailor, Manish Giri, had undergone a sex-change surgery a year ago in October 2016.
The Navy said that Manish became Sabi Giri after the sex change operation and they don’t require her services anymore.
"He chose to undergo irreversible gender re-assignment on his own accord, wilfully altering his gender status from the one he was recruited for at the time of his induction. He has, therefore, breached recruitment regulations and eligibility criteria for employment as a sailor in the Indian Navy," commander CG Raju, spokesperson of the Eastern Naval Command, told Hindustan Times.
To this, Sabi aka Manish responded, “How can they discharge me because I underwent sex change? I remain the same old person with the same potential and efficiency. I can perform my duties as efficiently as any male sailor. How can they say that I am not fit to do a sailor’s job?”
Sabi recently told the media that she will seek judicial help to resolve the matter
Sabi had to disclose about the sex-change operation after she contracted a Urinary Tract Infection. This led the Navy to question her existence as a woman. It also emerged that she cannot work in specific departments of the force.
Even if Sabi does take the Navy to court, she will have to put up a rigorous fight as legally, the Navy is not violating the law however gender discriminatory it may be
While the Defence Ministry last year pitched to expand women’s roles in the forces, the Navy has refused to let women engage in combat.
Earlier, the Navy also came under scanner for not providing permanent commission to women employees. Not having permanent commission also deprived women from getting retirement perks like male servicemen.
Before 2015, the Navy only took in women as Short Service Commission officers. On September 5, 2015, the Delhi High Court allowed women get Permanent Commission in the Indian Navy and avail retirement benefits.
Battling against gender discrimination, around 19 naval women officers had filed a petition seeking Permanent Commission.
Picture credit- Khabare Hindi