Adhering to the mindset that a woman’s clothes are responsible for any untoward incident happening with her, our “Culture” minister Mahesh Sharma has advised women visiting India “not to wear skirts while travelling in India.”
Mahesh Sharma, the Union tourism and culture minister courted controversy with this statement, though he later clarified that it was a “mere suggestion.”
While speaking to media persons, he said that a welcome card is being provided to tourists visiting India and the dos and don’ts on the card advise women not to roam alone at night and not to wear skirts. In the same gathering he while elaborating on helpline number 1363 introduced to help foreign tourists. He said, “When a foreign tourist reaches the airport, he or she is given a welcome kit wherein dos and don’ts are mentioned for them during their stay in India”.
“These dos and don’ts include suggestions that if they are in small cities, they should not roam alone at night nor wear dresses like skirts,” he said. “We also suggest them to click photographs of number plate of cabs they are travelling in and send it to their friends so that the number is stored and circulated,” said Sharma.
When the press asked him if he is suggesting a dress code for tourists visiting India, Sharma said it was not his intention to suggest a dress code for any visitor. “Why should we indulge in suggesting a dress code for visitors?” he asked. He also issued a clarification by saying “I was talking about places in religious context.”