A village council in the state of Bihar this week prohibited unmarried women and girls from using mobile phones, saying that they promote extramarital affairs and unsanctioned marriages and erode the moral fabric of society. Married women will be allowed to use them only indoors and in the presence of a relative.
Well, perhaps mobile phones have indeed contributed to affairs, but logic dictates that there was probably a man at the other end of the conversation, and it’s quite likely he was using a mobile phone too: why not ban all unmarried men and boys from using them, and only allow married ones to make calls under supervision of their relatives? The answer, of course, is that this is not about “eroding the moral fabric of society”, but about power, and in particular the erosion of traditional male power in the village:
Many villagers, male and female, attended a village meeting Sunday about the ban, and most favored it, particularly older people, Mr. Alam said. He presided over the meeting.