In a shocking incident, two sisters in Maharashtra alleged that their husbands divorced them after one of them failed to pass a “virginity test”. The incident occurred in the state’s Kolhapur district where two women were sent back home to their parents’ home after one of the two sisters failed to pass the patriarchal “white sheet” test used to determine if a woman was a virgin or not.
According to reports, the two sisters – both belonging to the Kanjarbhat community, got married last year. But the parents and husband of one of the brides tried to annul the marriage after she failed the “virginity test” in which a woman’s virginity is determined by the amount of blood she sheds upon having intercourse with her husband. The practice is widely discouraged as deeply misogynistic and discriminatory of women.
Following her failure to pass the test, the woman who had been married to Sandeep Kanjarbhat alleged that he and his in-laws including her mother-in-law hatched the plan to send her back to her parents.
The two sisters have now lodged an FIR against the husbands and their families in the matter. According to reports, Sandeep’s mother Shobha had tortured his new bride for two straight days after the wedding and had also been violent with her by pinching her and hitting her on the face. A case has also been registered against members of the Jat Panchayat who supported the family and ordered the two sisters to be boycotted.
“About virginity test, they asked us to get ready and have dinner. Their relatives were present at the spot. The beds were ready with white sheets but I had no idea they were planning this,” the victim was quoted by Times of India as saying. “I didn’t bleed so they alleged that I wasn’t a good character. My husband used to threaten me that he will ask someone to rape me in Belgaum. My husband
said if I have any self-pride left I should go home or die by suicide or they will force me to die by suicide,” she added.
The women allege that following the failure of the virginity test, their in-laws harassed the sisters’ family who in turn tried to appease them and make amends. But the family demanded Rs 10 lakh while also physically harassing the women as well as their families. The women also allege that the divorce did not materialise in a court of law but had been sanctioned by the caste panchayat which gave the men permission to remarry.