Mumbai, Feb 17 (IANS) Last year’s National Bravery Award winner Mumbai girl Zen Sadavarte has demanded action against what she terms a bizarre and unconstitutional Valentine Day oath where the girls of an Amravati college were made to take a pledge not to “indulge in a love-affairs or love-marriage”.
The 12-year-old, who raised the issue of the death of an infant in Shaheen Bagh protests, of which the Supreme Court took cognizance — has now written to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Union Minister Smriti Irani and Director-General of Police Maharashtra, seeking their urgent intervention.
Among other things, Zen has demanded that a first information report be lodged against the management and teachers of Mahila Arts & Commerce College in Amravati, near Nagpur.
She referred to a baffling oath which the girls of the college were allegedly compelled to take on Valentines Day (February 14), videos of which went viral and said it was “unconstitutional and deprives the girls of their right to make decisions/choices regarding their life”.
In the oath taken by the college-girls — organized by the National Student Scheme coordinator, allegedly at the behest of some local political activists — the students raised their hands and solemnly vowed not to fall in love-affairs, not indulge in a love-marriage, reject boys who demand dowry, adhere to the advice of the family and have faith in the boy they selected, etc – all as a asocial duty’!
“This is clearly inspired by ‘Manusmriti’ and clearly amounts to gender discrimination under IPC Sec. 294 and IT Act Sec. 67-A, and an appropriate complaint must be filed the concerned college teacher/s,” Zen told IANS.
Maharashtra’s Women & Child Welfare Minister Yashomati Thakur’s response was equally surprising when she commented that the oath was not binding on anyone and felt it must have been in the context of the recent burning of a woman lecturer in adjoining Wardha by a jilted suitor (February 3).
Despite repeated attempts by IANS, the college authorities were not available for their comments in the matter.
Run by the Vidarbha Youth Welfare Society, the college is affiliated to Amravati University and was founded 30 years ago by the former Education Minister Professor Ram Meghe.