The Daily Fix

The Daily Fix: The Navy’s reaction to a sailor’s sex change underscores India’s problem with gender

Everything you need to know for the day (and a little more).

The Big Story: Gender bender

On Monday, the Indian Navy sacked a sailor for undergoing gender reassignment surgery. Manish Giri was fired for changing her gender from male to female.

Technically, the Navy contends that the surgery allowed them to fire Giri since service rules and regulations bar for the alteration of “gender status or medical condition”. Yet, this narrow legal bar aside, this case raises some urgent questions on how India deals with gender.

Giri joined the Indian Navy in 2010. In 2016, she underwent gender reassignment surgery in order to become a woman. When the Navy came to know of her change in gender, troublingly, it treated it as a psychiatric issue. Giri claims she was confined in the male psychiatric ward for six months. She calls it “like being in jail”. Soon, Giri was transferred to an administrative job and after a while, fired from the Navy altogether.

“How can they discharge me because I underwent sex change? I remain the same old person with the same potential and efficiency. I can perform my duties as efficiently as any male sailor. How can they say that I am not fit to do a sailor’s job?” Giri said, speaking to the Hindustan Times.

This is a valid question and pokes holes in the Indian Armed Forces’ policy of disallowing women from serving in seafaring ships, infantry, artillery or armoured corps. This concept of stereotyping gender roles is obsolete in 2017. Women cadets have been part of the United States Army, for example, since 1980. India has made some progress on this count. Earlier in June of this year, Indian Army chief general Bipin Rawat said that women would be allowed in combat roles sometime in the future. Yet, as the Giri case showed, there is a long way to go.

As complicated as the issue of women rights is, securing the claims of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders is even more so, given that they have been marginalised in Indian culture. India is not unique in facing this issue. In August, the Unites States restored the military ban on transgender people – against which a legal challenge has been launched.

India has, in fact, had some limited success in securing transgender rights. In the National Legal Services Authority judgment, the Supreme Court of India formally recognised a “third gender” category for transgender people. Yet, this fight for gender rights is often a case of one step forward, two steps back. In 2013, the Supreme Court had also outlawed homosexuality. In this see-saw, the publicly visible dismissal of Giri will come as a significant blow to transgender rights in India given that the Armed Forces carry significant moral weight amongst the Indian public.

Subscribe to “The Daily Fix” by either downloading Scroll’s Android app or opting for it to be delivered to your mailbox. For the rest of the day’s headlines click here.

If you have any concerns about our coverage of particular issues, please write to the Readers’ Editor at


  • In making collegium decisions public, the Supreme Court must also reason out its measurement of “merit”, writes Shamnad Basheer in the Hindu.
  • Supreme Court cracker ban: The Judiciary is transgressing into executive and legislative domains, argues Vaibhav Joshi in the Hindustan Times.
  • Richard Thaler just won the Economics Nobel for his work on behavioural economics. But by explaining every human behaviour in terms of the market is behavioural economics simply a training ground for neoliberalism, asks John McMahon in the Boston Review.


Don’t Miss

Fertiliser reforms were linked to digitised land records – but the database is far from complete, report Mridula Chari and Kumar Sambhav Srivastava

But the challenge did not end at digitising and verifying land records.

The government wanted to use them in conjunction with soil health cards, which carry information on the chemical composition and nutrient conditions of the farmer’s land.

To link the two databases – land records and soil health card – the government needed one common data field. This could have been the land record number, said Chokalingam. But the government chose to go with Aadhaar.

Only two states – Andhra Pradesh and Telangana – have made substantial progress, linking 95% of their land records with Aadhaar. All other states are yet to make a serious start. Jharkhand, which is ranked next, has linked just 1.87% of its land records to Aadhaar

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Get ready for an 80-hour shopping marathon

Here are some tips that’ll help you take the lead.

Starting 16th July at 4:00pm, Flipkart will be hosting its Big Shopping Days sale over 3 days (till 19th July). This mega online shopping event is just what a sale should be, promising not just the best discounts but also buying options such as no cost EMIs, buyback guarantee and product exchanges. A shopping festival this big, packed with deals that you can’t get yourself to refuse, can get overwhelming. So don’t worry, we’re here to tell you why Big Shopping Days is the only sale you need, with these helpful hints and highlights.

Samsung Galaxy On Nxt (64 GB)

A host of entertainment options, latest security features and a 13 MP rear camera that has mastered light come packed in sleek metal unibody. The sale offers an almost 40% discount on the price. Moreover, there is a buyback guarantee which is part of the deal.

Original price: Rs. 17,900

Big Shopping Days price: Rs. 10,900

Samsung 32 inches HD Ready LED TV

Another blockbuster deal in the sale catalogue is this audio and visual delight. Apart from a discount of 41%, the deal promises no-cost EMIs up to 12 months.

Original price: Rs. 28,890

Big Shopping Days price: Rs. 10,900

Intel Core I3 equipped laptops

These laptops will make a thoughtful college send-off gift or any gift for that matter. Since the festive season is around the corner, you might want to make use of this sale to bring your A-game to family festivities.

Original price: Rs. 25,590

Big Shopping Days price: Rs. 21,900


If you’ve been planning a mid-year wardrobe refresh, Flipkart’s got you covered. The Big Shopping Days offer 50% to 80% discount on men’s clothing. You can pick from a host of top brands including Adidas and Wrangler.

With more sale hours, Flipkart’s Big Shopping Days sale ensures we can spend more time perusing and purchasing these deals. Apart from the above-mentioned products, you can expect up to 80% discount across categories including mobiles, appliances, electronics, fashion, beauty, home and furniture.

Features like blockbuster deals that are refreshed every 8 hours along with a price crash, rush hour deals from 4-6 PM on the starting day and first-time product discounts makes this a shopping experience that will have you exclaiming “Sale ho to aisi! (warna na ho)”

Set your reminders and mark your calendar, Flipkart’s Big Shopping Days starts 16th July, 4 PM and end on 19th July. To participate in 80 hours of shopping madness, click here.


This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Flipkart and not by the Scroll editorial team.