Drama serial Khuda Mera Bhi Hai has picked up an extremely sensitive issue; it’s the story of a woman dealing with life after having given birth to a child that is a hermaphrodite. We use the terms transgender and intersex while doctors use the terms pseudo hermaphrodite and hermaphrodite for children who are born with an ambiguous gender. But though the subject is noble, the doctors we have spoken to confirm that the serial’s portrayal of the situation is incorrect.
The way Mahi’s child is ‘announced’ at birth as a hijra is over-dramatic and somewhat incorrect. First of all, this special condition of any new born baby is determined after ultra sounds and a DNA/chromosome test, which takes around 2 weeks to come through. The new born child’s genitals, in this situation, are either over-developed or under-developed depending on the hormone imbalance the child is suffering from, but that does not mean that doctors immediately label the child as having no gender, “na larka na larki,” as is the reaction we see in KMBH.
Secondly, any child with under-developed male genitals is preferably raised as a girl and not a boy, an obstetrician and child specialist, who practices at the National Medical Centre, informed. “It’s a condition that can be somewhat fixed with corrective surgery and hormone supplements but because these children are not fully male, we advise them to be raised as girls. They may never be able to procreate but they live a more socially acceptable life as girls.”
And this issue comes to surface in KMBH’s latest episode, which shows Noor having feminine urges of applying red lipstick and wearing a red dupatta as a dulhan. What would be normal for a child raised as a girl, is socially embarrassing for a little boy. And while Noor is still very young, there is no attention to his medical needs.
We also spoke to several ladies from the transgender community who confirmed that they were born as hermaphrodites and were registered as boys upon birth (and then on their NIC cards when they turned 18). Since they had overwhelming feminine urges and grew up feeling that they were stuck in the wrong body they eventually switched to being girls. Several of them had gone to doctors for hormonal supplements while some were even contemplating reconstructive and cosmetic surgery.
So, as brave and progressive Khuda Mera Bhi Hai appears to be, what we also need to see is how Noor’s condition is handled medically, not just emotionally and psychologically through his mother’s character. Mahi and Zain’s love life does interest us but we’re more involved in the trials and tribulations of little Noor and how medical science is going to help him survive in an unforgiving society.
This is what’s happening in the next episode:
What do you feel about the plot development?