A state minister from India gave wooden bats as a gift to newlywed brides for them to use as a weapon in the event that their husbands turn alcoholic or abusive.
State Minister Gopal for Social Justice and Rural Development Bhargava handed over the bats — the kind which is used for laundry — to almost 700 brides during a mass wedding organized by the central government of the state of Madhya Pradesh.
Bhargava told the brides to try to talk to their husbands first but ‘let the paddles do the talking’ if the husband won’t listen.
The state minister said that the bat is to prevent violence and not to provoke women into it. He added that he wanted to bring to the public’s attention the plight of rural women who experience domestic abuse at the hands of their alcoholic husbands.
“Women say whenever their husbands get drunk they become violent. Their savings are taken away and splurged on liquor,” he told AFP news agency.
He also said that he got the idea for the bats as wedding presents after a woman asked him if she should beat her husband with a wooden plank to stop him from drinking.
Bhargava ordered 10,000 pieces of nearly foot-long paddles emblazoned with messages such as ‘For beating drunkards’ and ‘Police won’t intervene’ for distribution to new brides.
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