'No skirt' row: Mahesh Sharma clarifies, says 'I've daughters, would never tell women what to wear'
Mahesh Sharma had stirred a controversy by apparently suggesting that foreign tourists should not wear skirts while roaming around in an Indian city.
New Delhi: After coming under fire for suggesting that woman tourists should not wear skirts in India, Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma on Monday clarified his statement saying that it was only in reference to religious places so that the sanctity of the holy place is maintained.
"I am a father of two daughters. I would never tell women what they should wear or not. All I said was that if they enter a temple they should take off their shoes and cover their heads if they are entering a Gurudwara, that's all," Mahesh Sharma told media.
Asserting that he did not comment on what a person cannot wear, the Union Minister asserted that Indian is known for its diverse culture and that imposing such a ban was unimaginable.
Further stating that as India's Union Minister it was his right and his job to ensure the safety of foreign tourists, Sharma said that the government at times released advisories just like other nations, for the safety of the visitors.
Sharma refuted charges that he said that people roam around alone at night and said that he has not prevented anyone from doing so and was just asking the tourists to maintain caution and that there as nothing wrong in doing so.
Yesterday, the Union tourism and culture minister had stirred a controversy after he asserted that 'a welcome kit is being provided to tourists visiting India and the dos and dont's on the card advise women not to roam alone at night and not to wear skirts'.
"When visitors land at the airport, they will be provided with a welcome kit. The kit contains a card, a pamphlet which describes do's and dont's. Where it will ask the visitors not to travel at night, ask them not to wear skirts," he said.
"In that kit, there is a pamphlet which says that Indian is a cultural state where apparels change with respect to religious places like temples and asks the visitors to mind their dress codes," he retorted,
He had also asked visitors to take a photograph of every vehicle's number as a precautionary measure while travelling.
Sharma, last year, had stoked a controversy by saying that girls' wanting a night out not acceptable in India.