NPR Promotes 'Landmark' 'Third Gender' Ruling In India, Ignores Opponents with 'Stigmas and Superstitions'

On the evening of Good Friday, NPR All Things Considered anchor Audie Cornish announced one of those “landmark” (read: leftist) victories.

“There was a landmark ruling in India this week on sexual identity. The country's supreme court declared that India's transgender population shall be considered neither male nor female but a third gender,” Cornish announced. “The sweeping decision redefines the rights of and the state's obligations to one of India's most marginalized groups." NPR’s Julie McCarthy took over the celebration with a “journey of one young man who rejected his male identity” from New Delhi:

JULIE McCARTHY: The signs came early that Abhina Aher -- biologically born a boy and given the male name Abhijit - was different growing up in a middle-class neighborhood of Mumbai. Abhina is the son of a single mother, a government clerk, who loved to dance and entertain.

ABHIJIT/ABHINA AHER: You know, I used to love to wear the clothes that my mother used to wear, you know, her jewelry, her makeup. And that is something which used to extremely fascinate me.

McCARTHY: Draped in a bright sari, gold earrings and painted nails, Abhina is by outward appearance a female. This son of a working mother was raised by a maid who indulged the fantasies of an only child, including a fascination with a mother's jingling anklets.


McCarthy portrayed India as very backward and “conservative,” and yet the “transgender” Hijras “are a storied group, dressed in saris and enshrined in Indian literary epics. Regarded as auspicious, they are invited to bestow blessings at births and dance at weddings.”

This being NPR, the “journey” of attempting to discard your own gender leads to bullying: "Things grew more complicated as Abhina grew more effeminate and became the object of abuse -- dragged into libraries, stripped and taunted by older boys at school. Abhina's teacher was no source of comfort. She declared the tormentors in the right.”

In a segment taking up seven minutes and 42 seconds, there was no time for critics of the new “third gender” ruling. There are only anonymous “tormentors” and teachers. McCarthy isn’t seeking any of them out for another side of the story. She likes the story just the way it sounds. It’s simple, with stick-figure heroes and villains, too good to check. McCarthy (pictured at right) even implied that discrimination is to blame when transgenders become prostitutes and get HIV infections:

MCCARTHY: Up to 40 percent of Hijras are said to be infected with HIV in some states, as they resort to selling sex to survive. They have long been discriminated against in jobs, housing, health care, and education. The Supreme Court has now directed the government to set aside quotas for the transgender population to improve their socio-economic status.

Again, transgender quotas have no apparent critics in India. McCarthy ended with a loaded lecture:

McCARTHY: This week's court ruling making a third gender for India's transgender community is a milestone for this conservative country that still regards homosexuality as a criminal offense. And Hijras, too, are vulnerable under the same colonial era law that prohibits any sexual activity that is not procreative in nature. Abhina says the fight is not over....But as well-established as the Hijras may be, they are still regarded by many Indians with discomfort and derision. Ridding society of stigmas and superstitions will be the true test of the Hijras’ hard-fought recognition. Julie McCarthy, NPR News, New Delhi.

That’s an amazing last sentence, and perhaps an NPR slogan: “Ridding society of stigmas and superstitions.” The "LGBT" folks in India blame British imperialists for ruining their historic embrace of exotic formulas of sexuality. NPR allies itself with those Westerners that now want to lead a revolution for the "LGBT agenda." There is no other side worth quoting or interviewing.

They did, however, also sympathize with Pakistani transgenders -- and with Pakistani lesbians, too.

Sadly, NPR's best defense for this hermetically sealed leftism is: Who isn't reporting this way? Try and find out who in India might oppose this new ruling. Did the other leading outlets include any critics?

AP: No.

Reuters: No.

BBC: No.

New York Times: No.

Washington Post: No.

Who says politically correctness isn't absolute?

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis