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TDP MP Advises Women to Dress in 'Dignified Manner'

Murali Mohan creates a flutter with remarks in Lok Sabha that women must uphold Indian culture

Published: 08th August 2014 08:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th August 2014 09:02 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI/HYDERABAD: TDP MP from Rajahmundry M Murali Mohan created a flutter in the Lok Sabha Thursday with his “sexist” comments that women should dress in a dignified manner.

Participating in a debate in the Lower House on the rising number of atrocities against women and children, the actor-turned-politician said, “...to uphold the tradition of our Indian culture, I would earnestly appeal to all my sisters, daughters and girls to dress dignifiedly.” He went on to say, “I would also appeal to all my brethren to treat every lady, woman as his own family member which will be a great tribute to Mother India.”

His remarks triggered protests from women MPs, one of whom demanded that he be asked to leave the House. Several women members, including Supriya Sule (NCP) and Kumari Sushmita Dev (Congress), demanded that the remarks be expunged. “He (Mohan) should be asked to leave the House...It (remarks) should be expunged,” demanded Dev. Hukum Singh, who was in the Chair, tried to pacify the agitated members saying, “I will look into it. It is a very serious matter. I entirely agree with you...It should not have happened...just hold on. The Chair will take the decision”. Murali Mohan’s remarks were expunged from the records.

Later, speaking to the media, Murali Mohan sought to clarify his remarks but then, landed himself in further trouble. “As per our culture, it is better to dress dignifiedly.... stop modern dresses,” he advised women. However, he hastened to add, “If they feel it is bad, I don’t mind to withdraw. If they are disturbed by my statement, I would like to apologise.”

Taking strong exception to his “irresponsible” comments, Congress Rajya Sabha member V Hanumantha Rao wondered if he had no such compunction while acting in films. “If he has so much concern for women, he should have suggested how women should dress in films too,” he said sarcastically.

He demanded that AP Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu take action against Murali Mohan. Social activists too hit out at the TDP MP. “If what he says is true, why would a four-yearold or a six-year-old get raped?,” asked Sunitha Krishnan, social activist and co-founder of Prajwala, an NGO. “It is high time Murali Mohan asked his brothers and fathers to behave and not treat women and children like cattle,” she said. Director of Council for Women, Kalpana Kannibaran, said Lok Sabha is not the place for people like Murali Mohan. “If he chooses to use such street language, clearly he should be removed from the House. Lok Sabha is a place where one discusses Constitution, not how a woman should dress,” she said. Usha Rani, Director of Sannihita, Centre for Women, Girl and Children’s Society, echoed the same views. “Dress code is nowhere related to the abuse of woman. There should be no place for such discussions. What a woman can wear is her own decision. It is men who should be in control,” she said.



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