Twitter is slowly picking up stories on women empowerment or campaigns that lead to their upliftment. But this unique story really intrigues one's imagination where an MP in Madhya Pradesh gifts 700 brides with bats to arm them against drunken abusive husbands. Whether the government is backing women's self defence in the face of domestic violence is a question that can be answered later, but the move seems to be a unique way of dispensing off fear in women. 

700 brides ata mass wedding in Madhya Pradesh were gifted wooden paddles by the Minister of Co-operative, Social Justice, Panchayat and Rural Development in the Government of Madhya Pradesh, Gopal Bhargava. Normally used for getting dirt out of clothes during washing, the paddles were somewhat symbolical in warding off domestic violence. The minister, when asked about the reason behind this gift, said that women should stand up against domestic violence. He blatantly asked the women to give their husbands a thorough thrashing, if they misbehaved, instead of getting beaten by them.

He explains further in an interview with SBS new, saying, "We are a cultured and traditional country but for some time the alcoholism is on the rise. Sale of unauthorised liquor is rampant in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Women are upset because of this. Per capita, income is low and alcoholic husbands spend half of [women's] income on liquor. Women get beaten up and their money is snatched. This has led them to commit suicide too. And police has not been effective in these matters for the size of the population is too large. This gave me the idea that women should be armed so they can defend themselves."

But, what is even more interesting are the encryptions on the bats in pink and blue, which say "a gift to keep drunks in check" and "police won't say anything". 

However, Bhargava clarifies, "There is no intent to provoke women or instigate them to violence but the bat is to prevent violence." The minister got this gift idea when a woman asked him if she could stop her husband from drinking by beating him with a wooden plank.

In a bid to curb the rising numbers of domestic violence in the state and to empower women and let them know about their rights, this move stands out against the numbers shared by the National Crime Record Bureau, which stated that Madhya Pradesh ranked among the top five states in 2015 to have rapes and death due to violence with 4391 reported cases. Incidentally, the total crime against women record in India stood at 24,135 in the same year.