Unmarried women in twelve villages of Banaskantha district in northern Gujarat will not be able to use mobile phones, if a powerful organisation of the Kshatriya Thakor community here has its way
The Kshatriya Thakor Samaj , in a community meeting held last Sunday at Jegol village, decided to “ban” the use of mobile phones by unmarried women of the community , but did not specify what it would do if someone went against it.
“The girls are not to be given mobiles, and if such mobiles are seized, the responsibility will lie with the parents,” said the order, which the community elders called the “Constitution of Thakor Samaj”.
The Samaj also further went on to announce heavy fines for the parents of men and women who marry outside the community, though, to avoid legal wrangles, was worded carefully so as not to specify inter-community marriages.
“Whichever girl puts the community down, her responsibility will lie with the family and the parents will be liable to pay fines according to the Constitution and such fine will be Rs. 1.5 lakh for the daughters and the penalty sum for the parents of such sons will be Rs. 2 lakh,” the order read.
“Putting the community down” was an euphemism for marrying outside the community, those in the know of the development told ET
Interestingly, the Congress MLA from Vav in Banaskantha, Geniben Thakor, welcomed the set of diktats and maintained that the decision to keep girls away from mobiles was taken in their own interest.
Thakor told ET it was top priority to spread education and awareness within the community and that “moves like banning mobile phoone will help the girls focus on education.”
While she refused to comment on the issue of inter community marriages saying that under the Indian Constitution people were free to make choices, Thakore said that as long as the community was not educated properly, “such problems” would remain.
“It is important that the children are educated and empowered with jobs so that they can find their matches within the community,” she added.