Hyderabad: Nalsar University of Law’s student Anindita Mukherjee has created history in India with her gender-neutral graduation certificate that reads “Mx”, instead of the usual Mr or Miss or Mrs.
When Anindita, who wishes to be referred to as “they” instead of “he” or “she”, received her draft provisional certificate, she thought why should her academics be related to her gender. She wrote back to the University asking for a gender-neutral certificate. And, the request was accepted without any questions.
“I requested that the honorific before my name be changed to Mx, which does not reflect the gender. (Mx, as a gender-neutral honorific, has already gained traction elsewhere in the world and will soon be a part of the Oxford English Dictionary’s next edition). I was asked to pick up the corrected transcript when it was printed. There was literally no struggle involved,” said Anindita.
And for the one who had to grant her request, it didn’t come across as a surprise. Prof. Amita Dhanda, the convener of academics and examinations committee at Nalsar, said, “Anindita has been my student for five years, so I know her well. She’s known to be the crusader of her batch and this is just one of the steps taken by her.”
But for Anindita, this step doesn’t seem to be historic. “Several people I know have university transcripts without any honorifics, which are, therefore, gender-neutral. However, I think that the use of ‘Mx’ is a recognition of gender fluidity on the part of Nalsar’s administration, and that is a tiny step forward towards dismantling the strict roles in which we cast men and women, excluding the third gender,” she said.
“If this recognition paves way for similar moves on part of others, then that would be momentous. I hope since one university has taken such a call, it will be less strenuous for others with same demand,” she said....