Mumbai, Apr 28 : The case of a 21-year-old youth from Guwahati, Bidhan Barua, has reached the Bombay High Court with the youth pleading that his parents be restrained from preventing the sex change surgery.
On Wednesday, Bidhan Barua filed a petition in the high court alleging that his parents have stalled a scheduled sex change operation at Saifee Hospital on April 17.
Bidhan is in a relationship with an Indian Air Force flight lieutenant and wants to undergo sex change surgery to play wife to his lover.
Bidhan's father Supta Ranjan Barua told India TV over phone that "such a thing has never happened in our society".
Bidhan's father denied charges that he was giving threats to his son. "He is in wrong company and is working under pressure".
The youth's father also said, "if parents do not want, no court on earth can change the sex of their offspring. It is the duty of every Indian to bring my son on the right path, and I would request his lawyer to abstain from this case."
Bidhan, who prefers to call himself Swati, told India TV in a live telecast that he had dreamed since his childhood to become a woman.
The doctors at Saifee Hospital, he says, have now refused to operate upon him until they get a go-ahead from the HC.
In his petition, represented by advocate Ejaz Abbas Naqvi, Bidhan, a second year commerce student, says he realised early in his life that he was born the wrong sex. He preferred to dress like girls and was effeminate.
While this caused his family a lot of embarrassment in conservative Guwahati, where the Baruas are based, Bidhan himself was desperate to break free, reports Mumbai Mirror.
“My family was ashamed of me. They would often ill-treat me - beat me up and use abusive language. I was made to do all the housework too.”
When he was in class seven, Bidhan, through help from the Internet, realised medical science could help him become what he wanted to be.
As soon as he was out of school, Bidhan began taking up odd jobs to save money for the operation that would set him free.
On March 2 this year, he got a psychiatric evaluation done in Maligaon, Guwahati to check if he was ready for a sex reassignment surgery. The test was positive.
The doctors recommended Mumbai’s Saifee Hospital for the surgery.
On March 31, Bidhan ran away from his home and came to Mumbai, where he lived with his cousin. But his father, Supta Ranjan Barua, chased him down.
Barua, a cook with Northern Railway, not only threatened Bidhan that he would kill both him and his Air Force officer boyfriend if he went ahead with the operation, but also approached Saifee Hospital and asked them to not go ahead with the operation.
“My father went to the extent of issuing threats to have me kidnapped by ULFA militants,” says Bidhan.
Barua, who has three children (Bidhan being the youngest), has his own predicament.
I have asked him to complete his graduation before he decides (on the surgery).
"He has always misbehaved at home. I have my own parents to answer to. If a son is born to me and years later says he wants to turn into a woman, isn't it a matter of shame?”
Psychiatrist Dr Yusuf Matcheswala, who did Barua's psychological evaluation in Mumbai, has held him fit for sex
reassignment because he had gender dysphoria.
“We determine if a person has a genuine gender disorder and is fit to take his own decisions.The man should take his parents into confidence and, if required, go for counselling. The parents need to understand that if not allowed to undergo the change, he could even end up committing suicide.”
The surgery costs between Rs 1.5 lakh and Rs 3 lakh.
Bidhan has managed to save enough for the operation by doing small-time jobs. However, he is looking for financial help.
Dr Kalpesh Gajjiwala, who was to carry out the operation, pointed out that it was not a onetime surgery but a life-changing procedure.
"It involves many aspects, including psychological and social. It is important to secure the permission and involvement of the parents as well before the person takes the plunge. I will not take sides in this matter. Let the court decide and I will follow the court's order."