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‘Women had more freedom to wear clothes of their choice during Vedic times’

Taking a dig at Union minister Mahesh Sharma over his “skirt” remarks, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said women had greater freedom to wear clothes of their choice during Vedic times as compared to “Modi times”.

“Women had greater freedom to wear clothes of their choice in Vedic times than they have in 
Modi times,” Kejriwal said in a tweet. The Culture Minister had stoked controversy after suggesting that women tourists should not wear skirts in India.

“For their own safety, women foreign tourists should not wear short dresses and skirts... Indian culture is different from the western (culture),” he had told reporters in Agra on Sunday. He had also said that a “welcome card” was being provided to tourists visiting India and the “do’s and dont’s” on the card advise women not to roam alone at night and not to wear skirts.

The comments also did not go down well with Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal who asked Sharma to focus on governance than clothes of women. She also hit out at drawing parallels between rape and the attire of a woman.

“Rape of 2 year is also due to wearing skirts? “Improve law and order, pl stop telling women what to wear or not wear. “Can’t believe politicians continue to equate rape with wearing skirt. So easy to shirk responsibility and blame a women’s attire for rape,” she said in a series of tweets.

“Pl improve governance. No correlation in wearing skirt n rape. You hv put onus of rape on the girl which is pathetic,” Maliwal added.

Meanwhile, Delhi tourism minister said on Monday that Union tourism and culture minister Mahesh 
Sharma is bringing embarrassment to India. Reacting to Sharma’s statement that visiting women tourists should avoid wearing skirts in India, Kapil Mishra said his words will bring shame to India on the global stage and make it a laughing stock.

“Such an advisory not only tarnishes the image of India, but also has a negative and deleterious impact on the tourism sector. This may be a first-of-its-kind instance in the world. The Central government is issuing an advisory that will only have a negative effect,” he said.

Mishra said there was no need to issue an ‘overarching’ advisory to cover all tourist spots. The Union minister had also allegedly said that foreign tourists should not stay and roam alone. “If at all some religious places have their own rules and restrictions, foreign tourists always followed them in letter and spirit. 

“It is confounding as to what was the need to issue an overarching advisory that covers all tourist spots in India,” Mishra said.
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