It is extremely pleasing to know that Bangladesh is making headway in establishing the rights of a special section of her citizens. The eunuchs or Hijras can also be voters from now onwards.Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gave them the third gender status and finally the Election Commission (EC) has included them in the process of updating of voters list. For the first time in Bangladesh, apart from male and female, the additional option ‘hijra’ is included in the voter registration form. It is a milestone for Bangladesh that hijras are being included in the voters list and will be getting NID. It goes a long way to state that all citizens are equal – be they rich or poor, literate or illiterate, young or old, male, female or hijra!
The EC is updating the voter list of the country as per their responsibility of preparation for all subsequent elections. For citizens, the added benefit of being included in the voters list is getting the digital smart card or NID. As most public and private services in the country are increasingly getting digitised, it has become necessary for citizens to have an NID to avail many other facilities like applying for a job or visa, etc. As the NID also serves as a voter ID during elections, therefore it is imperative that the voter list should be flawless without duplication of identity and also not leaving out anybody, however inconsequential or significant a person may be.Any voter list tampering should be avoided by the authority who are updating it and who will be issuing NID cards based on it, as we are in the digital era where all unethical practices can be traced back to their origin of time and place even after years have passed following an occurrence. Furthermore, one wrong-doing leads to another, creating a never-ending vicious cycle of corruption, injustice, dishonesty and lawlessness in society. A flawless voter list by the EC will therefore help in establishing a more transparent and honest system, which will further the cause of an equitable, just and peaceful society.