Incredible India, Incredulous Culture Minister!
Foreign women travelling to India should not wear dresses or skirts and should not walk alone at night “for their own safety”, says India’s Culture and Tourism minister Mahesh Sharma. He later added: “We have not given any specific instructions regarding what they should wear or not wear. We are asking them to take precaution while going out at night. I am a father of two daughters…I would never tell women what they should wear or not,” Sharma said.
Mangaluru: Speaking to the media in Agra about India’s official safety advice for women, Union minister for Tourism Mahesh Sharma also advised women to take photographs of the number plate of any vehicles they were travelling in. His remarks have sparked controversy in India, where several high-profile gang rapes and attacks on women in recent years have focused global attention on the problem within the country. Sharma was speaking on Sunday about a welcome kit for foreign nationals arriving in India, which have been issued since last year and includes the safety guidelines for women.
He said: “In that kit they are given dos and don’ts. These are very small things like they should not venture out alone at night in small places, or wear skirts, and they should click the photo of the vehicle number plate whenever they travel and send it to friends. For their own safety, women foreign tourists should not wear short dresses and skirts, he said. “Indian culture is different from the western.”
But he denied his comments amounted to a dress code. He later added: “We have not given any specific instructions regarding what they should wear or not wear. We are asking them to take precaution while going out at night. I am a father of two daughters…I would never tell women what they should wear or not,” Sharma said.
Mahesh Sharma may not like this attire, but….
Sentences for rape have been toughened in India in the wake of the international outcry over a number of attacks in the country, but critics have said the government is blaming women and curtailing their freedom rather than punishing the perpetrators of the crimes.
…………would surely love this attire by foreigners!
“It was very stupid, not a fully thought-through statement,” Ranjana Kumari, the director of gender equality thinktank the Centre for Social Research, told the media “The minister doesn’t realize the implications of such irresponsible statements.” She said his remarks were part of “the syndrome of blaming women”. “But the problem is men and boys in India,” she added. “It’s important for [Sharma] to have said how to punish the perpetrators of crime and stop the nonsense of ogling women and following them”.
Sharma’s comments were described as being “loaded with misogyny”, and “a blatant admission that the Indian state is incapable of ensuring safety and security of women,” by Sreemoy Talukdar of India’s FirstPost website.
Inputs from YahooNews