We live in 2019 and most of India is progressing towards a brighter future. But one of the main problems that progressive India faces is regressive elders who refuse to change their perspective on things and stick to their traditions.
A number of Kangaroo courts still exist in India. These courts are either run by community leaders or village heads. Such courts are always in the news because they come up with some of the most absurd 'laws' that they voluntarily 'enforce.'
While they have often been criticized for being patriarchal and regressive, they also demean the status of women in society. And the best part is that they dismiss these criticisms by simply ignoring them.
The most recent incident comes from Gujrat where the Kshatriya Thakor community (8% of the state's population) from Banaskantha district has banned unmarried women of the community from using mobile phones and marrying outside the community!
The community leaders said that they are pretty serious about the decision and will enforce them among its members. This diktat was passed 'unanimously in a meeting on July 14 where members from 12 villages had gathered.
The people of this community have been asked not to give mobile phones to their daughters and bar them from marrying outside the community. The funny part is that, if the members fail to do so, they will have to pay a hefty fine imposed by the community's governing body!
Their unanimous statement stated, "Unmarried woman should not be given mobile phones. If they are caught with mobile phones, their parents will be held responsible and they will have to bear the fine to be imposed by the community’s governing body,"
They also said that girls should focus on studies instead of wasting time on mobile phones on social media. However, Suresh Thakor, a community leader from Dantiwada said that the community will offer tablets and laptops so that women can study better.
Looks like no one told Suresh but social media can be accessed on laptops and tablets as well!
Congress MLA Ganiben Thakor defended this decision and said, "As far as mobile phones are concerned, daughters who are unmarried should stay away from technology and spend more time studying. There is nothing wrong with this."
Apart from banning intercaste marriages and mobile phones, the community has also announced hefty fines for unnecessary expenses such as over the top marriage ceremonies, banning DJs and firecrackers and also elaborate processions.