Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan begins day-long fast against dowry

Arif Mohammed Khan
Arif Mohammed Khan

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Wednesday began a day-long fast at Raj Bhavan, his official residence here, to create social awareness against the practice of dowry and end atrocities against women.

It may be for the first time in the history of the southern state that any governor was fasting for such a social cause.

The head of the state participating in such a protest is unusual and could be interpreted as a criticism of the government in failing to provide a safe environment for women. However, the official version so far is that the fast is to create awareness about the social evil of dowry.

The governor had earlier visited the house of Vismaya, who recently died following dowry related harassment at her husband's place.

He is observing the fast in response to a call by various Gandhian organisations to create awareness against the practice of giving and taking dowry as part of marriages.

Khan began the fast by 8am and would continue till 6pm.

The governor would also take part in a prayer meeting to be organised at the Gandhi Bhavan here later in the evening before ending the fast.

A dawn-to-dusk fast was progressing at Gandhi Bhavan also where several Gandhians were taking part in the drive under the aegis of the Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi and other such outfits.

In a video message issued last evening, Khan said dowry is a "grave injustice and ignominy to the dignity of women" whose contributions to Kerala's growth are widely acknowledged.

The Gandhian organisations said the programme aims at ending atrocities against women and to address the need to make Kerala a safer place for them.

Last month, Khan had made an emotional appeal to women to say no to dowry when it was demanded during the time of marriages and expressed willingness to be part of any "organised" voluntary movement to create awareness against the menace.

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