A village in North Eastern India has prohibited all women from using mobile phones amid severe criticism of such a move from women rights organizations.
The village is called Kishanganj, in Bihar and is dominated by Muslims. It is an extremely backward and poor region. The reason for the village council to take this decision could be due to rampant illiteracy and the feudal mentality of village heads.
Apparently, when news agencies spoke with the authorities of the village council, the reason given for such a move was to reduce the trend of women eloping and deserting their families. They believed that availability of instant communication provided via mobile phones had abetted this trend.
So, according to the council rules, a girl will be fined an exorbitant 180 dollars if she is caught using a mobile phone on the street. The fine will be much less for married women, due to fewer chances of them deserting their families.
Women's rights activists have labeled this as the most backward step for women empowerment especially at a time when women are forging ahead in different fields.