A Madhya Pradesh minister has gifted an unusual present — a ‘mogri’ or a wooden bat– for nearly 700 brides at a mass marriage ceremony.
While the mogri is traditionally used to wash clothes, the minister has advised the brides to use it on their husbands if they turn alcoholic or harass them and refuse to mend their ways.
The gifted mogri even bears the caption ‘sharabiyon ke sutara hetu bhent, police nahi bolegi’ (gift for beating drunkards, police will not intervene).
Gopal Bhargava, the state minister of panchayati raj and rural development, gifted the bats to nearly 700 brides during a mass marriage ceremony solemnised on the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Tritiya yesterday in his home town Garhakota in Sagar district.
While others will be flummoxed by the uncommon gift, the minister says women from the region often meet him to complain about their alcoholic husbands and he felt it was an apt present.
“Whenever I visit any rural or urban area in my constituency, women complain about their husbands’ drinking habit. They inform me that whatever little they earn is snatched away by their husbands for alcohol. They (women) are also subjected to physical violence,” Bhargava said.
“The idea of gifting mogri struck me when a woman asked me whether she should get her husband to stop drinking by beating him with this wooden plank,” the minister said.
So, he ordered 10,000 bats to be gifted to women “suffering at the hands of their alcoholic husbands”.
The minister sees nothing wrong in it and feels that it as a step towards bringing social change, which is necessary to deal with the menace of alcoholism.
“The government or police alone would not be able to solve this problem. People have to come forward. There are many examples in history which show that when masses intervene, things have changed for the better.”
(With PTI inputs)