Virginity test of brides in Kanjarbhat community: Social groups seek end of humiliating practice

The Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti (MANS) Thursday demanded action against some members of the Kanjarbhat community in Pune who were allegedly seen in a video asking a newly-married man the outcome of the bride’s ‘virginity test’.

A delegation of the MANS, an anti-superstition outfit founded by the late Narendra Dabholkar, met Maharashtra Social Justice Minister Rajkumar Badole and sought action.

An old custom of the Kanjarbhat community where the bride has to prove on the wedding night that she is virgin has come under criticism from progressive sections of that community as well as social activists.

A video showing members of the Kanjarbhat ‘jaat panchayat’ (community’s representative body) asking the groom the outcome of the virginity test and whether he was “satisfied” went viral on social media recently.

Nandini Jadhav, executive president of the MANS, said the groom in this case, son of a former corporator has studied abroad while the bride too is an architect and daughter of a retired police officer.

“We met the minister who was in the city and demanded that the government take action on its own against this regressive practise,” she said.

Badole promised that action will be taken, she said.

“We will also approach the police tomorrow,” she added.

While neither the groom nor the bride in this case have taken objection to the custom, around 40 youngsters from the community have formed a group — ‘Stop The V-Ritual’ — and are carrying on a campaign on social media against the regressive practise.