Mumbai

Amravati college incident clear instance of gender bias: Zen

Zen Gunratan Sadavarte

Zen Gunratan Sadavarte  

Bravery award winner seeks action against officials for ‘unconstitutional’ pledge

After a video of students of an all-girl college in Maharashtra taking a pledge against the concept of love marriage went viral, a 12-year-old has written to the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Union Minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Irani and the Director General of Police, seeking urgent intervention.

Zen Gunratan Sadavarte, who received the National Bravery Award 2020 from the President on Republic Day for saving 17 lives in a fire at her residence in August 2018, said she has demanded that an FIR be registered against officials of Mahila Arts and Commerce College, Amravati.

The young girl said the act of making girls take such a pledge is unconstitutional and deprives the girls of the right to make decisions regarding their life.

The incident occurred on Friday, which was Valentine’s Day. According to Zen, the video could cause mental agony as it encourages the mindset that takes inspiration from the Manusmriti. She also said it was a clear instance of gender discrimination under Section 294 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 67A of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

Hence, a complaint was filed under Section 154 of Code of Criminal Procedure against the National Student Scheme (NSS) programme professor Pradeep Danday, who allegedly forced the girls to take the oath.

“I have written two letters. In the first letter I have mentioned Yashomati Thakur, the State Women and Child Development Minister, who said the pledge was not binding on anyone and the girls must have taken the oath in light of surrounding events. If a minister is saying this, then what will happen to democracy?” she asked.

The Bravery Award recipient further said the second letter, addressed to Mr. Thackeray and Ms. Irani asks them to take urgent and immediate steps to prohibit girls from taking unconstitutional oaths, which were part of a brainwashing process by the authorities.

‘Violation of rights’

Through the letters, Zen also said it is a grave violation of natural justice and the girls’ right to free will of marriage. It falls under mass offensive schooling under the NSS programme.

“The reason why I stepped forward is because I do not want such an incident like this to happen ever again in any government educational institute,” the 12-year-old said.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 5:08:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/amravati-college-incident-clear-instance-of-gender-bias-zen/article30837920.ece

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