32-year-old TV artist and dancer, Chandramukhi Muvvala believes that there wouldn’t be a Mahabharat without Shikhandi and the state legislature needs transgender representation.
Muvvala, a trans woman who is contesting the upcoming Telangana polls, has gone missing.
She has reportedly been missing since 8.25 am on Tuesday; based on the missing person’s complaint, an FIR has been filed. The police said that they are reviewing CCTV footage.
“She went to sleep at 5 am, and asked someone to wake her up at 7 am. The last call she received was at 8.17 am, and her phone was switched off somewhere at Yaramanzil Colony, 2-3 km from her residence in Banjara Hills. She was noticed missing since 8.25 am and the door of her house is locked from the outside,” the Banjara Hills SHO said.
Chandramukhi, a well-known face in Hyderabad’s trans community, is contesting from the Goshamahal constituency in Hyderabad on a Bahujan Left Front (BLF) ticket. She will be taking on bigwigs such as the BJP’s Raja Singh and Congress’ Mukesh Goud. Vinu, who is tasked with the campaign schedule told the press that Chandramukhi would inform him where she was going, and who she is meeting. “We approached the police only at 2.30 pm. We waited, hoping she would come back by then,” he said.
Vinu also alleged that a person who was found lurking around her house in the CCTV footage could be involved in her disappearance. “A white SUV came to the premises at 7.58 am. A person could be seen in the video looking or searching, either for someone or for a location. We suspect that this person is somehow linked to her disappearance,” he said.
Mother spoke to her child on Monday night
Anitha Muvvala, Chandramukhi’s mother said that she last spoke to her daughter between 8 and 9 pm on Monday.
“We talked about how the campaign was going and she told me she was happy with the way things were progressing,” Anitha said.
“We fear for her safety and condemn the lack of safety measures organized for her and for other women and transgender candidates, which acts as a strong force that dissuades transgender persons and women from joining politics. Chandramukhi’s campaign kicked off just one day before she went missing,” a press release of the Telangana Hijra Trans Samiti said.
Chandramukhi is the only transgender candidate
“No Mahabharat without Sikhandi, no Legislature without Transgender,” says 32-year-old Chandramukhi Muvvala, possibly the first transwoman to contest in the upcoming Telangana Assembly elections on a party ticket.
Even after the landmark Sec 377 judgement, trans representation in the legislature is dismal. There were transgender nominations in the past but all of those were as independent candidates. This is the first time in Telangana a party has given a ticket to a trans-woman.
Out of the total of 3,584 candidates that filed their nomination for the upcoming polls, she is the only candidate representing the transgender community.
A TV artist and Bharatnatyam dancer, she is pitted against former minister and senior Congress leader Mukesh Goud and controversial BJP leader T Raja Singh in the constituency.
“We have been subjected to exploitation and there was no one in lawmaking bodies to represent us, now it’s time to change it,” said Chandramukhi. She said that her main agenda if elected would be to represent the transgender community in the legislature and to curb the issue of child labour in the constituency. “It is the first step in making our voice heard, and we will use it to the last extent” she adds. She said that they go to slums, they sit and eat with the people in those slums and they all have been very sweet to the community. She says that she draws confidence from the immense support she receives from within and outside the community.
“While the seed to do something related to politics was planted four years ago, Chandramukhi didn’t think she would actually run for MLA, but only that she would canvass for and promote a party. “I thought I’ll canvass for some party and I’ll make my work, words, or a member of my community a part of it. But I got a BLF ticket and my entire community was happy. It is the first time in both the Telugu states that a member of the trans community has got a ticket from a party,” she said in a report by The News Minute.
The area suffers from civic issues, for which locals blame the incumbent BJP MLA Raja Singh, and local issues are what Chandramukhi aims to give her attention to, the report said.
“I’m transgender and I never said that I’ll only work for trans people. I have been part of women’s issues, children’s rights and in Goshamahal, I have seen a lot of child labour. I want to curb child labour. Education must be good in this constituency,” she added in a report.