Thursday 25 January 2018

Youths protesting practice of 'virginity test' for brides beaten up at a Pune wedding

The Kanjarbhat community beat the members of WhatsApp group 'Stop the V-ritual' at the do.

Three men were allegedly thrashed at a wedding in Bhat Nagar in Pimpri, Pune on Sunday night. They were attacked by almost 40 fellow members of their own community! All this, for the most regressive reason in the history of mankind: Those men were against the 'virginity test' ritual imposed by the elderly members of their community on the newlyweds and were a part of a WhatsApp group 'Stop the V-ritual' propagating the same.

The Regressive Lot's Name: The Kanjarbhat Community

Their Even More Regressive Ritual's Name: The 'V-Ritual' (virginity test)

The Terribly Regressive Procedure: Newly-married couples are taken to hotel rooms. The groom is given a white bedsheet to use while having sex with the bride while the caste panchayat members actually sit outside the room. If the groom walks out with a blood stains on the sheet, it means the bride has passed the test with flying 'colours'-and quite literally so. If not, she is accused of having a physical relationship with a man in the past by the panchayat members!

That's not it. The bride is punished as per the rules of the panchayat and sometimes even harassed and beaten up.

No points for guessing, there are no such "tests" for the groom!

The only good that has come out of it all is the fact that few of the younger members had formed a WhatsApp group 'Stop the V-ritual' upon realizing how unfair and well--regressive it was--and worked towards stopping the ritual altogether.

"I belong to the Kanjarbhat community and am getting married in May next year. My fiance and me are against this humiliating practice… we have declared that we would not be participating in it because it is against our right to live life with dignity and right to privacy… but just opposing it was not enough. So, we held a meet of all the members of the WhatsApp group in Akurdi on December 3 to plan an awareness campaign," Vivek Tamaichekar, a Masters student at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai had said in an interview to Indian Express in December.

However, when Prashant Ankush Indrekar, 25; Saurabh Jitendra Machale, 25 and Prashant Vijay Tamaichikar, 23 went to attend the above-mentioned wedding on Sunday night, they heard the caste panchayat discussing about carrying out the test as it was their "ritual".

Even though, they didn't oppose it on the spot, they were beaten up brutally by the members, who knew that they were a part of the 'Stop the V-ritual' WhatsApp group.
"Marriage ceremony was over by 9 pm. Then, the caste panchayat held a meeting from about 10 pm to 11.30 pm. They talked about demanding money from the bride and groom. Also, there was a discussion supporting the virginity test of bride, claiming it was a part of their tradition… We did not oppose anyone at the spot. But, they knew that my friends and I are part of the WhatsApp group 'Stop the V-ritual', which creates awareness in the community against the unjust practice of virginity test of brides. So, they got angry and questioned us and then 30-40 youths, including Sunny Malke, brother of the girl who got married on Sunday, attacked Saurabh Jitendra Machale and Prashant Vijay Tamaichikar. When I intervened, they also started beating me. A person even thrashed us with a leather belt. We condemn this act," said Indrekar, while speaking to The Indian Express.

Based on his complaint, 40 members including Malke, Vinayak Malke, and others have been booked under sections 143, 147, 149, 323, 509, 427 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

"As per our investigation, the quarrel erupted as the accused questioned the complainant regarding virginity tests,"Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone III) Ganesh Shinde told the daily.

Shinde added that the accused were against the frequent campaigning being carried out by the complainant.

(Source: Odd Naari)

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