700 Indian Women Armed With Bats After Police Won’t Stop Abusive Husbands


An Indian state minister has armed some 700 brides with wooden bats to be used in self-defense should their husbands ever raise a hand on them. “Police won’t intervene,” reads the reassuring inscription, encouraging use against alcohol-dependent spouses.

The foot-long wooden bats were presented as gifts at a mass marriage ceremony on Saturday by Gopal Bhargava, a minister in the state of Madhya Pradesh, who instructed some 700 brides to use them on husbands if they turn alcoholic or exhibit harassing behavior.

“Whenever I visit any rural or urban area in my constituency, women complain about their husband’s drinking habit. They inform me that whatever little they earn is snatched away by their husband for alcohol. They are also subjected to physical violence,” Bhargava told PTI today, as quoted by the Indian Express.

“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.

Traditionally used to get the dirt out of clothes in old-fashioned laundries through the beating of the garments, the paddles called the ‘mogri’ were embroidered with messages that read: “For beating drunkards” and “Police won’t intervene.”

Bhargava says the messages on the wooden bats were designed as more of a preventive measure against domestic abuse and are not meant to instigate violence.

“There is no intent to provoke women or instigate them to violence but the bat is to prevent violence,” he told AFP.

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