Family Condemns Virginity Test Practice, Faces Social Boycott In Return
A couple from the Kanjarbhat community, in Thane district, has filed a case against their community’s caste panchayat members for boycotting their family.
Vivek and Aishwarya Tamyaychikar who are residents of Ambernath, have been boycotted for the last one year by their community. Their crime? They opposed the practice of women undergoing virginity tests in their community, as part of wedding rituals and started a WhatsApp group named ‘Stop the V-ritual’.
Speaking to The Logical Indian, Vivek explained the regressive practice, “a panchayat is called after every wedding night, where the sanctity of the woman is publically discussed. If the woman does not bleed on the wedding night then “Jhotha Maal” or “Khara Maal” is declared by the family members.”
He added that as part of Kanjarbhat cast tradition, “women who do not bleed on their wedding night are beaten up and ostracised.”
Through the Whatsapp group, the couple tried to convince community members to end the regressive practice of women having to prove their virginity, at the time of the wedding and ended up being boycotted for their service.
Following the complaint, the Ambernath police filed a case against four members of the caste panchayat on May 15, under the Social Boycott (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2016. The Act prohibits any individual or group from obstructing or boycotting another group or community from taking part in a social or religious procession.
However, Vivek said that no action has been taken against the perpetrators till now.
The matter escalated when Tamyaychikar’s grandmother died on May 14. The sarpanch of Ambernath’s Kanjarbhat caste panchayat issued an order, prohibiting all community members from attending his grandmother’s funeral, according to a complaint filed by Vivek on Tuesday.
“There have been several instances in the past where our family have been boycotted in the past,” Vivek said, “but boycotting us now, at a difficult time, they are trying to force us to apologize and succumb to the regressive tradition and continue ostracising women for losing their virginity.”
According to reports, a complaint against the couple has also been filed by a woman of Kanjarbhat community at Ambernath police station, for defaming the community in the media by speaking against the ritual.
The Logical Indian reached out to S D Ghuge, Senior Inspector of Ambernath police, but he refused to comment on the case.