No mobile phones for girls, no inter-caste marriages: Gujarat’s Thakor community

Image for representational purposes only   | Photo Credit: M. Srinath

In a strong diktat to parents, Gujarat’s Thakor community has said their unmarried daughters should not have mobile phones and inter-caste marriages would not be allowed. If the directives are not followed, stringent fines would be imposed, it has warned 

The fiat was passed “unanimously” at a meeting of the community’s top leaders and elders from 12 villages in Banaskantha district. 

As per the order, “Unmarried women should not be given mobile phones. If they are caught with phones, their parents will be held responsible and they will have to bear the fine to be imposed by the community’s governing body.” It was intended for girls to “focus more on studies rather than waste time on mobile phones on social media platforms.” 

Suresh Thakor, a member of the governing body, said, “The rule is valid for all college-going youth from the community as they use mobile phones to create videos and waste time.” The community would offer tablets and laptops to college-going girls so that they could study with focus.

At the meeting, the community leaders said parents who go in for inter-caste marriages of their children would be fined between ₹1.5 lakh and ₹2 lakh. 

Other decisions taken included reducing “unnecessary” expenditure on marriage ceremonies by stopping the use of disco jockeys, firecrackers and elaborate processions on vehicles and horse-riding for grooms.

“The money saved from the practice will be used for the education of community members,” Mr. Thakor said.

Those flouting the rules have been threatened with legal action, said the elders at the meeting that was attended by hundreds of community members.

The directives have been supported by Congress lawmaker Geniben Thakor, who believes that youngsters are spending their valuable time and money on social media on mobile phones. 

“They should stay away from the technology and spend more time studying,” she told reporters. 

Another prominent leader and lawmaker from the community Alpesh Thakor, also welcomed the decision curtailing unnecessary expenditure incurred on marriages so that more money could be spent on education of children. 

“Some decisions like curtailing unnecessary expenditure on marriages, DJ, etc. is good. As far as using mobile phone is concerned, I would say this should be gender-neutral. Keeping young boys and girls from using mobile phone will help them focus on their studies,” he said.

Thakors in Gujarat belong to the Other Backward Class category and are mostly small land-holders or landless labourers in north and central Gujarat. 

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Printable version | Apr 15, 2021 2:07:21 AM |

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