An Indian father had to endure jail for tying his 8-year-old daughter to the back of his motorcycle and forcing her to attend school. The incident, though seemingly barbaric, has the nation divided owing to the poor female literacy rate.
A father in Mathura, a deeply spiritual city in Uttar Pradesh, a northern state in India, tied-up his 8-years-old daughter to the back of his motorbike and took her to school to ensure she appeared for her exam. The father, identified as Bhawat Singh, 49, confirmed that his sole intention behind his actions was to ensure his daughter got a decent education.
After the photo made extensive rounds on social media sites and instant messaging service Whatsapp, local activists lodged a complaint with the police. Law enforcement sprang into action and arrested the man. He has been charged with “unlawful assembly and breaching peace” under section 151 and 323 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). These charges are generally reserved for people who gather a mob and go on a rampage citing religious or political reasons.
Interestingly, Bhawat Singh is employed with a public school and maintains that there was no ill-intention behind his actions. However, most accused the man of being too cruel to his daughter. But the father believes that whatever he did, it was in the best interest of his daughter.
The father added that prior to tying his daughter to his motorbike, he attempted to convince, persuade, and even bribe his daughter to attend school, which is about a kilometer away from his home. Though he offered candy and even small gifts to get his daughter to leave the house and attend her exams, she was in mood to do so. According to her father, she dug her heels and hence he was forced to take the drastic step,
“My daughter will not die if I take her to school. But she will surely die if she will not study.”
Though his logic is sound and the country’s female literacy rate is merely 64 percent, the police did not understand his plight and threw him behind bars. The father spent about 24 hours in jail before posting bail.
Thousands of girls are denied the basic right to education that even the government has legally allotted to them. Many girls are forced to drop out owing to the orthodox mindsets. Quite a large number are either married off at a very early age or forced into child labor. Under such extreme circumstances the steps this father took seem rather mild and tame.
[Image Credit | Indian Express, Whatsapp]