Union Minister Mahesh Sharma on Monday said that he was speaking in 'context of religious places' when he advised women tourists not to wear skimpy clothes and skirts and added, "I did not comment on what women should wear or not, was just speaking in context of religious places."
"Also, if I ask women tourists to be a bit careful while moving around at night then what is wrong in it? I am simply concerned," Sharma added.
I did not comment on what women should wear or not,was just speaking in context of religious places: Mahesh Sharma pic.twitter.com/6cDemekTfd
— ANI (@ANI_news) August 29, 2016
On Sunday, while addressing a press meet in Agra, the Union culture and tourism minister asked women foreign tourists to not wear skirts and said they should refrain from venturing out alone at night for their own safety, reported The Times of India.
Sharma intended that foreigners visiting the temple towns of Mathura and Vrindavan should keep the sensitivity of Indian culture in mind, the report said.
"The tourists are given a welcome kit which have the dos and don'ts list, wherein they are advised not to wear short skirts. They should also click the image of the car's number plate while travelling and alert their friends if for safety," he added.
Taking a dig at the BJP government, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, "Women had greater freedom to wear clothes of their choice in Vedic times than they have in Modi times."
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
Then, of course, an interesting series of counter tweets followed:
Hope he's said what to wear instead. Otherwise, the situation could get even worse.
Atithi Scaro Bhava! https://t.co/7oPwzl6HRb
— Shirish Kunder (@ShirishKunder) August 29, 2016
Rather than ensuring safety, Mahesh Sharma directs tourists not to wear skirts and refrain from going out late at night! #AccheDin
— Yasir Waheed (@Yasir_25) August 29, 2016
#MaheshSharma Cultural Overdose! Seeking Excuses for bad governance !
— Sulaiman Mohd Khan (@sulaimanmkhan) August 29, 2016
India needs to ban such conservative ministers, not skirts#rubbish#MaheshSharma
— Jay Vora (@jcvnspace) August 29, 2016
— Atishi Marlena (@AtishiMarlena) August 29, 2016