Indian tourism and culture minister Mahesh Sharma has suggested foreigners not to wear skirts in India. He also suggested them not to roam around alone at night in the small cities of the Hindu-majority country.
Indian Twitter users have sharply reacted to the comments made by the minister as they think that he should not advise women what to wear. Twitter user A. E. Sultan believes that Sharma’s remark could give an impression that India is not safe for foreigners.
— A. E. Sultan (@alalisultanate) August 29, 2016
Abu Dhabi-based Indian Twitter user Abdulla Madumoole pointed out the fact that when France asks women not to wear Burkini, India tells them not to wear skirts.
France says don’t wear burkini, remove.
India says don’t wear skirt, cover up.
Confused World! #MaheshSharma
— Abdulla Madumoole (@AMadumoole) August 29, 2016
Indian politicians also condemned the remark by Sharma as it comes at a time when India faces a persistent reputation of being unsafe for women, mainly foreign tourists, following frequent incidents of harassment and rape across the country. Here’s what New Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted after Sharma’s remark on Sunday at a press conference in Agra:
Women had greater freedom to wear clothes of their choice in Vedic times than they have in Modi times
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) August 29, 2016
‘History of India,’ a popular Twitter account known for sarcasm, has tweeted the following picture mocking the tourism minister:
Tourism Minister of India, Dr Mahesh Sharma measuring the skirt length of tourists at the Airport checkpoint.(2016) pic.twitter.com/SkMvCRLktI
— History of India (@RealHistoryPic) August 29, 2016
Meanwhile, Mahesh Sharma clarified his ‘‘no skirts’’ remark by adding that he was referring only to religious places and that he spoke out of “concern.”
“I am a father of two daughters… I would never tell women what they should wear or not,’’ he said to reporters on Monday.
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Photo: Quartz India