New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has taken strong exception to Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma's controversial statement suggesting foreign tourists not to wear short skirts while roaming in small towns at night during their stay in the country.
Taking a dig at Sharma, Kejriwal tweeted this morning: 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
However, Sharma today issued a clarification, saying that he was referring only to religious places, and that he spoke out of "concern".
"I did not comment on what women should wear or not, I was just speaking in the context of religious places," Sharma, the Minister of State for Culture, said to reporters today.
"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," he added indignantly.
"When tourists arrive at the airport, they are being given a welcome kit which has a card with dos and don'ts... it has instructions like if they are in small areas, they should not roam around alone at night or wear skirts...they should take a picture of the car they are travelling in and send it to their friend'," the 55-year-old had said.
India, the minister said, is a "cultural country" and "we have a different dress code for temples. Kindly keep that in mind while dressing up."
As reporters latched on to his "no skirt" comment and questioned whether he was recommending a dress code, Sharma demurred: "We are not telling them what to wear and what not to wear. We are only saying that when they go out at night, they should be careful. We have no right to try and change anyone's clothes or way of thinking."
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