Orissa Caste bans cell phone use by girls

From the archives of articles I wanted to comment on, this is a classic piece of diktat: unmarried “girls” are banned from using cell phones, to prevent them from going astray:

“Girls fall in love after they come into contact with boys through mobile phones. This creates trouble,” Ganjam-based Paikali Khandayat Samaj said in a statement. “The Samaj feels there is no urgency for unmarried girls to use mobile phones.”

Brilliant piece of logic, no? First, not having cell phones will prevent girls from going astray? Do they really think the “going astray” part occurs over the phone? And of course, the responsibility is on the girls alone—boys, who are apparently the cause of said going astray—need not constrain themselves at all.

And these idiots are still in positions of responsibility, and capable of dictating societal behavior. And the sad thing is, things like this don’t even surprise us any more.

The only positive point:

“We have adopted a resolution making it compulsory for students of our caste to attend school at least till Class X. We have also advised our members to ensure their children continue their education, irrespective of their gender,” the Samaj chief said.

But, um—that should happen irrespective of people going astray, right? This education resolution is a good move—but it doesn’t absolve the leaders of stupidity.

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