In an attempt to prove the stereotype that village councils are archaic opponents of all progress of human nature, the village of Lank has banned unmarried women from using mobile phones. The fact that unmarried men can still call is as obvious as it is sexist. The village is located in the Uttar Pradesh state of northern India, where 34 couples have eloped in the last month – and of course mobile coverage is to blame.
Naturally this flood of fleeing couples has nothing to do with a ridiculous council ruling stating that everyone in the same clan group are effectively blood relations – meaning that you’re pretty much not allowed to marry anyone you actually know. This suits the parents down to the ground, as they still arrange marriages, but for some bizarre reason young people aren’t content to sit thinking pure thoughts until they’re told who they’re allowed to like.
It’s almost a good thing that the village elders think mobile phones are to blame – if they work out that boys and girls have organs which make them want to do things, the results could be horrific (and have happened in even more primitive social groups.) As it is, they’re “merely” being shockingly backwards and crippling a whole half of their young population. Women’s rights group Disha is opposing the measure, and luckily village council rulings don’t have legal weight. Unfortunately they do still carry a huge social value, but as the eloping army proves, it’s eroding with progress.