India has traditionally grappled with the problem of domestic abuse that women face at the hands of their menfolk. Despite most cases going unreported, over 113,400 such incidents were recorded in 2015.
Now, in order to curb domestic abuse, a politician in the state of Madhya Pradesh has come up with a bizarre solution, that urges newly wed women to beat up their violent husbands.
Over 700 brides were ‘gifted’ wooden paddles (popularly known as mogri) by this politician at a mass wedding ceremony. And he’s reportedly ordered for many more.
These logs of wood carry messages like ‘For beating drunkards’ or ‘Police won’t intervene’ and urge women to set their husbands right if they ill-treat them.
“Women say whenever their husbands get drunk they become violent. Their savings are taken away and splurged on liquor… they should let the wooden paddles do the talking,” the politician told AFP.
However, he clarified that this isn’t an attempt to provoke the women, but a mere effort to curb the violence they face.
It is true that India faces a serious alcohol problem. According to the World Health Organization, one in 20 Indians suffer from alcohol-related problems. Several states have cracked down on liquor in recent years in a bid to curb alcohol-fueled violence.
Hence, this step might be well-intentioned but it hardly absolves the State of their inability to protect its women and act on offences. Also, we can’t rule out the misuse of ‘power’ invested in the women.
Naturally, it has drawn mixed reactions from people. We’re not really sure how this will pan out.