Once again, a man telling a woman what she can or cannot do. The Union Minister of Tourism and Culture in India, Mahesh Sharma, is taking a call as to what is the ‘appropriate’ length of a skirt that a girl should wear and when she should wear it.
Normally, I would let comments like this pass without attacking them because after all we did elect these people into office. But, this comment blatantly tells tourists that the Republic of India cannot ensure the safety and protection of women. Coming from a Union Minister, this statement sends a clear message to the entire world that the Indian State suffers from administrative issues and that foreign tourists must consider this country to be in a situation like one in The Hunger Games, one where they always need to watch their back.The simple fact of the matter is that we elect these individuals to ensure our security and act in our best interests. But to ask women to abstain from roaming around in the evening and not to wear short skirts is essentially handing over the behemoth task of maintaining law & order to the individuals themselves.
Post his statement I started reading about our honourable Minister of Culture and Tourism. Last year he made a very nonchalant statement saying that, “Despite being a Muslim”, Abdul Kalam “was a great nationalist and humanist.” And just to put this into context for the ‘Hindutvas’, replace ‘Muslim’ with ‘Hindu’ and ‘Abdul Kalam’ with ‘Narendra Modi.’
This makes it very clear that Sharma is a narrow minded bigot who does not believe Indian Muslims are really Indian. In his disfigured opinion being a Muslim is as good as being a handicap. What really saddens me is that in a country like India, being a Muslim really is becoming like being a handicap. I fail to understand how a elected individual who has taken an Oath can alienate an entire religion and an entire gender without any repercussions.
In all his foreign visits, Modi talks extensively about promoting tourism and cultural exchange. He promotes tourism in addresses to the nation and talks about how much we would benefit from it both economically and culturally. But with a Union Minister like Mahesh Sharma who tells women what to wear, when to go out, take pictures of the cab they’re going in, whom to talk to and what to do, increase in the influx of tourists seems like a hollow pipe dream.