Union tourism minister Mahesh Sharma has courted fresh controversy after his comments advising woman tourists not to wear skirts while visiting Agra.
Speaking to reporters, Sharma added that he female tourists should also avoid wearing short attire and refrain from moving around alone.
“We are distributing advisories to foreign tourists at the airport that females should not wear short dresses and skirts for their own safety,” Sharma was quoted by Indian Express.
Sharma later issued clarification that he didn’t mean that western culture was wrong asking media not to misinterpret his words.
“We have not given any specific instructions regarding what they should wear or not wear. We are asking them to take precaution while going out at night. We are not trying to change anyone’s preference,” Times of India quoted him as saying.
Sharma is not new to making controversy. Last year, he had said, “Girls wanting a night out may be all right elsewhere, but it is not part of Indian culture.”
In September last year, Sharma was in news after saying that the former pesident APJ Abdul Kalam was a nationalist despite being a Muslim.
He had said, “The name of Aurangzeb Road has been changed to the name of a great human being who, despite being a Muslim, was such a great nationalist and humanist – APJ Abdul Kalam, we have named it after him.”
Sharma, who also holds Culture portfolio in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet had caused huge outcry by making yet another insensitive comments on Dadri lynching, which had seen the death of an innocent Muslim, Mohammad Akhlaq in his constituency Noida.
Sharma had said that nature of wound on Akhlaq’s son showed that the Hindutva mob had no intention to lynch Akhlaq adding that the killers had also not touched the 17-year-old daughter of the victim.
“You must have seen that whenever there is any buzz about cow slaughter, media, people all rush (to the spot). All those who love the cow rush (to the spot). It (the murder) took place as a reaction to that incident (cow slaughter). You must also consider that there was also a 17-year-old daughter in that home. Kisi ne usey ungli nahin lagaayi,” Sharma had told The Indian Express.