oppn parties Pune: Social Boycott For Refusing To Prove Virginity

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  • In reply to a question in Parliament, the government says it is empowered to lawfully intercept, monitor or decrpyt information stored in a computer resource in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of India
  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
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  • Sources in Shiv Sena say that they might revive the alliance with the BJP if it offers the 50:50 deal
  • A miffed Sanjay Rout of the Shiv Sena says that it will take "100 births" to understand Sharad Pawar
  • Mobile operators Vodafone-Idea and Airtel decide to raise tariffs from next month
  • Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi and says more time needed for government formation in Maharashtra
  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
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Pune: Social Boycott For Refusing To Prove Virginity

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
In an act that should be strongly condemned by all right thinking people, a woman has been subjected to social boycott and made to leave a Navratri dandiya venue just because she refused to bow to her community’s jat panchayat. Aishwarya Tamaichikar married Vivek last year. As per 'custom' in their community, the jat panchayat wanted to see their bedsheet the morning after they consummated their marriage as proof of her virginity. Vivek and Aishwarya both refused to comply with the diktat. But when they started supporting a “Stop the V test” campaign started by another woman, they were subjected to social boycott by the panchayat from May this year.

The reprisal started soon thereafter. Aishwarya was assaulted by some panchayat members when she had gone to attend a wedding. That she was invited to the wedding was proof that other community members did not support the panchayat initiated boycott. Yet, the panchayat members assaulted her to scare other community members and ensure that their boycott was implemented. Now, she was asked to leave a dandiya show. The music was stopped and an announcement was made that it would not start if some people did not leave the venue. The music was started only after she left.

This is arm twisting of the worst kind. The panchayat is following a regressive custom that neither has any scientific basis nor social sanction. First of all, virginity cannot be proved or disproved by a few drops of blood on the bedsheet. Then, it is a very private matter between the husband and the wife and no one, including the panchayat, has the right to violate this privacy. The panchayat must know that the hymen can break before sexual intercourse due to multiple reasons and science says that its breakage is no conclusive proof that the girl has had sexual intercourse. But that is secondary. Why should the panchayat poke its nose in the private affairs of a couple? Who gives them the right to demand such an obnoxious thing as to see the bedsheet the morning after? Further, why are only women subjected to such tests to prove their “purity”?

It is good that Aishwarya has filed an FIR and the Pune police have booked 8 members of the community by invoking the Social Boycott (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2016. It has launched a manhunt for them. But Aishwarya had filed an FIR when she was assaulted at the wedding too. The police had arrested the culprits then too but they were released on bail. Nothing has come out of that case. Hence, this time the police and the administration must ensure that the full force of law is applied to punish the panchayat members. There is an urgent need to stop this organized parallel justice system that runs in India in order to respect the privacy of the individual and restore his/her dignity.