HIJRA eunuchs in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh float the political party Jiti Jitayi. In the culture of the Indian subcontinent a hijra (also known by a number of different names and romanized spellings) is usually considered a member of “the third sex” — neither man nor woman.

Most are physically male or intersex, but some are female. Hijras usually refer to themselves as female at the language level, and usually dress as women. Census data does not exist, but estimates range from 50,000 to 5,000,000 in India alone. Although they are usually referred to in English as “eunuchs”, relatively few have any genital modifications.

A third gender has existed in the subcontinent from the earliest records, and was clearly acknowledged in Vedic culture, throughout the history of Hinduism, as well as in the royal courts of Islamic rulers.