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Women Not Assets to be Owned by Men: Rahul Slams ML Khattar for ‘Despicable’ Joke on Kashmiris

Khattar 'joked' at a rally that now people say that since Kashmir is open, men from Haryana can bring girls from there.


Updated:August 10, 2019, 10:22 PM IST
Women Not Assets to be Owned by Men: Rahul Slams ML Khattar for ‘Despicable’ Joke on Kashmiris
File photo of Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar. (PTI)

New Delhi: A bizarre “joke” made by Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar at the expense of Kashmiri women has invited the wrath of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who slammed him as a “weak, insecure and pathetic man”.

Khattar, addressing a rally in Haryana’s Fatehabad on Friday, talked about his state’s improved sex ratio with a statement seen as sexist by many.

"Our minister Dhankhar ji used to say that we will have to bring daughters-in-law from Bihar if the number of girls reduces and the number of boys increases. Now people say that since Kashmir is open, we can bring girls from there. Jokes apart, if there is a good (sex) ratio, the balance in the society will be set right," Khattar said.

He was referencing BJP leader OP Dhankar's bizarre promise to young men of Haryana in 2014 that he would bring them brides from Bihar if they were unable to find a match in the state infamous for its skewed sex ratio.

The statement did not go down well with Gandhi, who said it reflected what “years of RSS training does”. Calling the comment despicable, he added that “women are not assets to be owned by men”.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee also took offense to the statement and those holding office must refrain from making insensitive statements.

“We, and more so people holding high public office, must restrain ourselves from making insensitive comments about the beloved people of Jammu and Kashmir. These are hurtful, not only for J&K, but the entire nation,” she tweeted.

Reacting to the criticism, the chief minister accused the media of "running a misleading and factless campaign" against him and shared on Twitter a full video of the event. "Daughters are our pride. The daughters of entire country are our daughters," Khattar tweeted while clarifying his position.

He also attacked Rahul Gandhi and advised him not to react on "distorted news". "Dear @RahulGandhi ji, at least at your level you shouldn't react on distorted news. I'm attaching a video of what I actually said, and in what context - this will give you clarity of mind," he tweeted.

National Commission for Women chairperson Rekha Sharma on Saturday said she would seek explanation from Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar for his remarks.

The Delhi Commission of Women (DCW), meanwhile, has recommended that an FIR be filed against Khattar for his remarks over Kashmiri women and against Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Goel for allegedly putting hoardings of Kashmiri girls outside his home in the capital. Earlier this week, a BJP MLA from Uttar Pradesh had also said “bachelors” in the party could now marry "fair Kashmiri women".

The DCW said their acts and remarks not only amount to outraging the modesty and denting the dignity of Kashmiri daughters and sisters but has also impacted women and girls all over the country. Their actions may end up inciting violence in the already sensitive area of Kashmir, it said.

"Such statements by those in high constitutional offices reinforce the notions of a patriarchal society and severely undermine the value and voice of women and girls," it said. "The commission strongly recommends registration of an FIR in both the the matters without considering the issue of territorial jurisdiction."

The DCW demanded an action taken report in the matter from Delhi Police's Crime Branch by September 14.

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