‘I will not fall in love’: Bizarre Valentine’s Day oath at Indian girls college
In a bizarre incident, students of an all-girls college in Amravati district of Indian state of Maharashtra were asked to take pledge against the notion of love marriage on the eve of Valentine’s Day. Notably, the teachers of the school had administered the oath to the students for a ‘strong and healthy India’.
Reports have claimed that the administration of the Mahila Kala Vanijya Mahavidyalaya forced the students to take the absurd pledge, which was a part of the National Service Scheme (NSS) camp. Nearly 40 of the 100 students participated in the NSS camp took the oath.
“I take oath that I have complete faith in my parents. So, in wake of the events happened around me, I would neither involve in love nor would do love marriage. Also, I wouldn’t marry anyone who will demand dowry. If my parents marry me off by giving dowry due to some social compulsions, as a future mother, I will not take dowry from the parents of my would-be daughter-in-law and will not give dowry for my daughter’s marriage. I am taking this oath for a strong and healthy India”, the students of Mahila Kala Vanijya Mahavidyalaya vowed.
Speaking to the Indian Express, principal of the college said that the notion behind the pledge was to ensure that girls focus on studies and think of marriage later.
“The idea of administering such an oath came to my mind during a discussion with women at the camp on ‘Challenges before youths’. It led to the subject of crimes against women. We have witnessed several such crimes…The abiding question is why is this happening? Can we not do something to end it?” said Pradeep Dande, a professor of Political Science at the college.
“During the discussion, I asked the girls why they get tempted towards love marriage? Why do girls run away? Have they lost faith in their parents? The idea of oath struck me during the discussion.”
According to the principal of the college, Rajendra Havre, about 40 out of the 100 girls participating in the camp took the oath. Asked if he agreed with Dande’s idea, Havre said, “It is not a question of being or not being in agreement. Girls run away with auto-rickshaw drivers and pan-shop owners. Do parents send their daughters to college for this? So the idea is they should first concentrate on their studies and think of marriage later.”
Asked how anyone could oppose the idea of falling in love at a young age, Havre said, “Nobody is opposed to love, but the youth must understand the difference between love and sexual attraction. Parents send their children for education and girls run away with someone. It is our duty to inculcate among students values of responsibility towards their parents and their career. Hence the oath.”