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Shame and setback for India mobile Industry

Date Added: November 27, 2010 03:27:09 AM
Author: wanarua
Category: Computers and Internet: Software

Euro news channel last evening had news that left me scandalously gobsmacked. The channel reported that an Indian village has banned unmarried women from using mobile phones for fear they will arrange forbidden marriages that are often punished by death. My first question was how on earth this can happen? For heaven sake we are in 21st century. According to the news channel the lank village council decided unmarried boys could use mobile phones, but only under parental guidance and feared women would use phones to arrange forbidden marriages. Only an neo-colonial mentality person can fail to support local women's rights group criticism of the measure as backward and unfair. I have all along known that marriages between members of the same clan are forbidden under Hindu custom in some parts of northern India. In that part of the country unions are traditionally arranged by families. In conservative rural areas, families sometimes mete out extreme punishments, including "honour killings", for those who violate marriage taboos. In some cases, village councils themselves have ordered the punishments, though police often intervene to stop them. Reports also indicated that lank village council feared young men and women were secretly calling one another to arrange to elope. The mobile phone ban for unmarried women is part of a wider, regional effort to curb intra-clan marriage among the 3 million people of western Uttar Pradesh. The Lank council archaic ruling, which applies to around 50,000 people, is being considered by councils in nearby villages. Village council members feel that cell phones helped in the elopement of young couples. Most marriages in the region are still arranged by the parents, sometimes without the couple meeting before the wedding. But young people are mingling more, with more women in schools and offices and increased access to the internet. Mobile phones, meanwhile, have become so common and affordable that even city slum dwellers, rural day labourers and children have them. Across the nation of 1.2 billion people, there were more than 670m mobile phone connections as of August, with the number growing by nearly 20m a month, according to government figures. The local women's rights group, Disha, said the ban demonstrated the councils' archaic mindset, and warned that it could put girls at a disadvantage in other areas of life. In October 2010 alone, Euro news reported that 34 couples eloped in Muzaffarnagar district, where Lank is located, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. Among the couples who did so, eight "honour killings" have been reported in the past month while three girls were beheaded by the male members of their family after they eloped. Rulings by panchayats and comprising village elders selected by the community are not legally binding in India but are seen as the will of the local community, and those who flout them risk being ostracised. In Uttar Pradesh, panchayats are particularly powerful and have declared that boys and girls of the same clan are essentially siblings. Mobile Phones have played a tremendous role in helping ease communication among people and one cannot discriminate in the use of these contraptions on the basis of sex.If effected this could be a national shame to all mobile industry players including my friend Kashish Kumar Paryani based in Indore. I vehemently oppose this move. Visit My Website : http://wanarua.com
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