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Maharashtra: College staff suspended for making girl students take pledge against ‘love marriage’

On February 14, protesting the action against their teachers, students of Mahila Kala Mahavidyalaya sat on a dharna at Chandur Railway station.

Written by Vivek Deshpande | Nagpur | Published: February 27, 2020 10:31:11 pm
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Three employees have been suspended by a college management in Chandur Railway Town in Amravati district for making girl students take a pledge against “love marriage” on Valentine’s Day eve.

Chairman of Vidarbha Youth Welfare Society, Nitin Dhande told The Indian Express, “What they did was contentious and they had no business to do what they did. So, we have instituted an inquiry by Sanyogita Deshmukh, a senior Principal from another college, to probe the matter. Pending its report we have suspended the three teachers, Pradeep Dande, a professor of Political Science, Principal Rajendra Havre, and the co-ordinator of the National Service Scheme (NSS) camp during which the oath was administered, V D Kapse. We will take action against them on the basis of the findings of the inquiry.”

On February 14, protesting the action against their teachers, students of Mahila Kala Mahavidyalaya sat on a dharna at Chandur Railway station.

“But they later called it off after the college management explained to them that suspension was just a part of the laid-down procedure, not the punishment. It is necessary to do it pending inquiry,” Dhande said.

The Mahila Kala Mahavidyalaya is run by the Vidarbha Youth Welfare Society.

On the eve of Valentine’s Day, around 40 girl students were administered oath in the presence of media to desist from “love marriage”. They were also given a pledge against giving or receiving dowry during marriage.

Incidentally, the idea was conceived by professor Dande, who the backing of Principal Havre.

The oath administered to the students was, “I take the oath that I have complete faith in my parents. So, considering the incidents happening around, I will not get entangled in love and will not do love marriage. Also, I wouldn’t marry anyone demanding dowry. If my parents marry me off by giving dowry due to some social compulsions, as a future mother, I will not take dowry from the parents of my would-be daughter-in-law and will not give dowry for my daughter’s marriage. I am taking this oath for a strong and healthy India.”

Dande had then said, “the idea of administering such an oath came to my mind during a discussion with women at the camp on ‘Challenges before youths’. It led to the subject of crimes against women. We have witnessed several such crimes…The abiding question is why is this happening? Can we not do something to end it?”

Havre had said, “Girls run away with auto-rickshaw drivers and pan-thela owners. Do parents send their daughters to college for this? So the idea is they should first concentrate on their studies and think of marriage later.”

Havre, however, had later apologised for the action.

Chairman Dhande said, “The teachers had not consulted the management about their idea and the NSS camp was no forum for any such activity. Also, the fact that media was invited from Amravati for the programme showed it was pre-planned. So, we had issued them show-cause notices. After receiving their replies, we instituted the probe.”

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