Women told to remove mangalsutras at Telangana test centre, husbands protest
A few married women taking a recruitment test were forced to remove their mangalsutras at an examination centre in Narsapur of Telangana’s Medak district on Sunday, triggering protest by their husbands.
The examination was conducted by the Telangana State Public Service Commission (TSPSC) for the recruitment of village revenue officers (VROs) in 2,000 centres across the state. The test witnessed a turnout of over 10 lakh candidates for just 700 posts.
As the examination went on smoothly at almost all centres, officials at Little Flower School at Narsapur insisted that married women should remove their mangalsutras before entering the examination hall.
Reason: there was a possibility of hiding electronic devises embedded in them, and it was against one of the conditions of the TSPSC recruitment tests that candidates should not have any gold ornaments.
The women tried to convince the officials at the school that removing mangalsutras would be inauspicious and against the Hindu sentiment. But the authorities did not listen to them, and as a result, many candidates were forced to remove their mangalasutras and hand over the same to their husbands who had come to the centre with them.
The husbands raised a hue and cry outside the examination hall, protesting against the ‘high-handed behaviour’ of the authorities.
“We came all the way from Vikarabad. My wife Madhumati was forced to remove her mangalsutra before she was allowed into the hall. The authorities did not listen to her request to respect her sentiment,” said Siva Kumar, showing his wife’s mangalsutra to the local media.
Some women candidates, who refused to take off their mangalsutras, brought it to the notice of the local police who were providing security at the examination centre. Following the intervention of the police, the authorities allowed the remaining women to retain their mangalsutras.
TSPSC chairman Ghanta Chakrapani said the commission had never given any instructions to ask women candidates to remove mangalsutras before entering the hall.
“May be the authorities at the centre didn’t understand the instructions. But none of the 290-odd married women allotted to the centre was sent back. Some people tried to make it a big issue out of it,” he said.
A senior official of the commission said on condition of anonymity the rule banning gold ornaments does not apply to mangalsutras.
“Even during the preparatory meetings with the examination officials, we told them specifically not to insist on removal of mangalsutras. Perhaps, the examination superintendent at the Narsapur centre did not understand it properly,” the official said.
The TSPSC has come in for criticism in the past too, for banning wearing of shoes, wrist watch and wallet and sporting of tattoos and mehendi for candidates appearing for various recruitment tests.
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