Kerala Transwoman Candidate Alleges Abuse, Ends Campaigning
Anannyah Kumari Alex has scripted history by being the first transgender to contest in the Kerala Assembly polls.
Alleging abuse, 28-year-old transwoman Anannyah Kumari Alex, who is the candidate in Kerala’s Vengara for the Democratic Social Justice Party (DSJP), has decided to withdraw from campaigning for the Assembly election.
“When I brought up this issue with the party president he told me to obey everything that the other members are saying so that I can have a smooth election season. I am complaining of being verbally abused and if I can’t get protection from even the party president, then how can I be safe here?”Anannyah Kumari Alex, DSJP Candidate for Vengara
Anannyah told The Quint that after she raised the issue, she was “mentally tortured and received threats” from several leaders of the party.
Kerala’s First Transgender Candidate to Contest Elections
This is Anannyah’s first attempt in politics as she was contesting from the Vengara constituency in the Malappuram district of Kerala against Muslim League candidate PK Kunhalikutty and Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidate P Jiji.
She is Kerala’s first transgender radio jockey who hails from Peruman in Kollam district of Kerala. She is also a professional makeup artist and a news anchor employed at a private channel.
Abuse in the Midst of a Fight for Equality?
Democratic Social Justice Party (DSJP), is a relatively new party that originated in September 2019 and aims at bringing together all communities that are not covered by caste or religion-based reservation. The party draws support mainly from the Nair community and their ideology is to ensure social justice.
Anannyah told The Quint that she was quite shocked that the party leadership did not stand up for her.
“When he told me that I will have to listen to everything they say, I didn’t want to take it anymore. I decided to walk out. I have principles and theirs was not aligned with that,” she said.
She alleged that the DSJP leaders had even “forced me to speak poorly” of the opposition candidate and the LDF government.
She also alleged that in the past few days she was not getting any help to put up posters, election-related expenses, and other campaigning work.
“Even now as we speak, at least one transgender person is being harassed. I wanted to contest in this election to fight for equality and freedom from discrimination. But how can such a thing happen to a person who is aspiring to be a leader?”Anannyah Kumari Alex, DSJP Candidate for Vengara
Since the last day for withdrawing nominations has already passed, Anannyah cannot strike out her name. “But I will not go out for campaigning. And in the next few days left for election, I will use social media to speak up about this party. I joined this party thinking they stand for equality but I need to inform people about this,” she added.
She even suggested that the Election Commission conduct an investigation about all the candidates of this party and the working of its members.
The Quint tried reaching the DSJP but didn’t receive a response.
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