Today there was a question posted about a claim of Devdutt Patnaik made about third gendered people.

Which verse in Ramayana is Devdutt Patnaik referring here?

This was about a story where third gendered people were waiting for Rama when he was returning from exile. Here's a quote from the question:

In mythology, it is said that when Rama was returning to Ayodhya from his forest exile, he noticed that the kinnaras, or queer people, were waiting outside the city

The same question was posted by user sv. a long ago citing the Same Devdutt Patnaik.

What's the source of the story that involves hijras (transgenders) and Rāma?

New question cites article written by Devdutt Patnaik whereas the old question uses YouTube video. The story is the same. The question links to a Wikipedia article which says the following.

Hijra is a term given to eunuchs, intersex people, and transgender people in the Indian subcontinent. Also known as Aravani, Aruvani, Jagappa, or Chhakka, the transgender community in India prefer to call themselves Kinnar or Kinner, referring to the mythological beings that excel at song and dance.

I flagged for moderator intervention. It was declined with following reason:

declined - Kinnaras are not Hijras. Not duplicates. They are different questions

Kinnar is the Hindi word for Queer gendered people. They are also called as Hijras in some other regions. Both the words are used interchangably but they prefer to call themselves Kinnars. The question posted by sv. used the word Hijras instead of Queer gendered people. The questions are the same and the story is also the same. But the moderators declined saying they are different.

In the both the sources i.e., Video and the article Devdutt Patnaik who is the author talks about homosexuality and third gendered people and he does not even mention the Kinnaras, the half bird half man creatures in Hindu mythology. So, there is no link to them in both the questions.

Should the moderators not check the questions and the factual accuracy before declining flags about exact duplicates given that they are the only ones who can close the question? (I wish they would be better if they check the terms and context the words used in the question too.)

My previous flag about a rude comment was also declined but the action I suggested was taken. I couldn't understand what happened there.


1 Answer 1


Initially Sanskrit meaning of word Kinnara "किन्नर (kinnara) "किं नर (kim nara)" was considered and it was rejected. Male Kinnaras are generally described as half man and half horse in Vishnudharmottara Purana while female kinnaras are described as half woman and half bird and this meaning was considered initially.

However, it was known later that Hindi uses Sanskrit word "Kinnar(a)" for Hijras (transgenders). So, question was later closed as duplicate.

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