In an unabashed display of patriarchy, Suraj village of Mehsana, Gujarat has banned mobile phone usage of unmarried women and girls. These women can only use their family members’ mobile phones and if they are spotted with a phone of their own, they will be fined 2,100 INR. Not only that, the informant will be awarded 200 INR for each such report.
What’s more shocking is the fact that this decision was taken in a forum that was called upon to discuss and adjudge male members of families drinking and abusing their spouses and children. The discussion, however, soon turned towards mobile usage of women (surprise!) and then came the unconstitutional decision.
Village head Devshi Vankar equated mobile usage of single women with alcohol abuse of men. Ironically, Mehsana is the home district of PM Narendra Modi, who has showcased ‘Digital India’ as the prime focus of current BJP led government and announced that providing internet connection to each and every village is the prime directive. Each digital India advertisement is laced with images of village girls using the boon of smartphone and mobile internet to achieve their dreams of education and career, a sight, unfortunately, the PM’s own district is all set to abolish.