Apsara Reddy, newly appointed National General Secretary, All India Mahila Congress (AIMC) resolves to thwart the BJP’s ‘sinister plans’ in Tamil Nadu
Apsara Reddy, one of India’s most well-known transgender journalist and activist has been appointed National General Secretary, All India Mahila Congress (AIMC) by Shri. Rahul Gandhi, President, Indian National Congress, in the presence of Lok Sabha MP and AIMC President, Ms. Sushmita Dev.
This is the first time a transgender has been appointed to the position. The appointment heralds a transformative change with respect to the inclusion of this community into mainstream politics.
As a transgender woman, Apsara has been involved in social activism through her college days and has also taken up high-profile cases of child rape and created a media sensation in Tamil Nadu.
Her active voice on social issues and her brand of journalism initially saw her join the BJP after meeting Shri Amit Shah. She quit within a month’s time as she says, “BJP is regressive and has no place for free-thinking individuals.”
Apsara was offered National Spokesperson’s role by J. Jayalalithaa, Former CM of Tamil Nadu. Apsara continued in that role till she had differences with the faction-ridden AIADMK. Apsara says, “I come from a background where I was exposed to many prejudices and injustices quite early on. The hypocrisy and discrimination only motivated me to work against injustice. India is being governed by forces that place far more importance on religious identity than the rights and dignity of women. Congress is truly a party that built India and sustained us for generations with good policy and a sensitive and inclusive approach in governance. Rahul Gandhi ji’s commitment to fair representation of women, women-centric manifesto goals and dynamism are truly inspiring and I would be delighted to serve women across the country under his leadership.”
Being a woman, Apsara feels is a blessing and says, “Over 40% of Indian women according to the Human Development Report’s Gender Inequality Index suffer abuse, neglect or violence at the hands of their husbands or family members. Girl child rape is at an all-time high. To protect women from crimes and abuse we need to embolden their voices, frame policies that push for intervention and strengthen our social justice mechanisms.”
Making a point about the Transgender Bill, Apsara says, “BJP government has this patronizing attitude towards us. We don’t need charity, we need assistance to bridge the inequality meted out to us for far too long. They use words like rehabilitation. What the community truly needs is education and equal opportunity. Most importantly political recognition such as this by the Congress goes to show that Rahul Gandhi ji looks at us as a talent-pool and a worthy skill-set rather than a fringe group that needs pity. This is a good starting point for mainstreaming,” she says.
Laying out her plans as the newly appointed General Secretary, she says, “I will meet with a cross-section of women to address issues pertaining to their rights. This coming election I will campaign vociferously against the fascist BJP dictatorship that drives a coloured agenda that reduces people to what they eat, how they pray and how they love!”
Taking on the BJP in her home-state Tamil Nadu, Apsara says, “AIADMK government is playing into the hands of the BJP. Sterlite Industries protest saw the killing of many innocent civilians, the eight-lane highway project will displace lakhs of farmers and the forced NEET Medical Entrance exam claimed the life of a bright young Dalit student. Never in the history of any State has a Central Minister audited the office and the chief of staff of a sitting Chief Minister. It happened in TN. I will work in the grassroots to ensure that the BJP’s sinister plans for TN will not take shape. And ensure Congress returns to power in TN.”
“I will work with the Congress Mahila State Unit’s across India towards women’s economic empowerment, fighting against social injustices, helping women find their human rights and help contribute to the Congress party’s manifesto with women-centric policies. I am truly excited to work with the dynamic President of the AIMC, Sushmita ji as she embodies strength, courage and a contagious determination to do the right-thing for women.”