Foreigners should not wear skirts and roam alone at night: Tourism minister

Union tourism and culture minister Mahesh Sharma apparently stirred a controversy on Sunday as he suggested foreign tourists visiting India to avoid wearing skirts during their stay in the country. 

Last Updated: Aug 29, 2016, 09:24 AM IST
Foreigners should not wear skirts and roam alone at night: Tourism minister

New Delhi: Union tourism and culture minister Mahesh Sharma committed a faux pas after he suggested foreign tourists visiting India to avoid wearing skirts while roaming around Agra city in the evenings. 

Sharma, who was interacting with media persons on Sunday, had said, "A welcome card is being provided to tourists visiting India and the do and don'ts on the card advise women tourists to not roam alone at night and not to wear skirts."

Sharma elaborated on helpline number 1363 introduced to help foreign tourists and asserted, “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 the number plate of cabs they are travelling in and send it to their friends so that the number is stored and circulated,” said Sharma.

However, after a journalist sought Sharma`s justification, the latter retracted or amended his view by saying that the suggestion was made with regard to visits to religious places. He also mentioned that he has no intention to suggest a dress code for any visitor.

Sharma, last year, had stoked controversy by saying that girls wanting a night out was not acceptable in India.

Sharma's comment has incited criticism on Twitter, where some questioned him if it will help curb molestations and rape in the country.