Hours after Haryana CM ML Khattar’s distasteful joke on Kashmiri girls caught the ire of social media, Congress party’s ex-President Rahul Gandhi tweeted saying that Khattar’s comment on Kashmiri women was ‘despicable’.
Khattar had made controversial comments about Kashmiri women on Friday, 9 August, at a Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign in Fatehabad, while addressing the sex ratio in the state. The controversy was exacerbated by ANI’s clip of the speech which left out the part of a sentence that suggested it was a ‘joke’.
“On the topic of sex ratio, Haryana’s sex ratio used to be around 800-something women per 1,000 men. We’ve increased this to 930+ per thousand men. Earlier OP Dhankar used to say that we’ll have to bring girls from Bihar to fix the sex ratio, and some people are now saying that we can bring girls from Kashmir as well. (scattered laughs from audience) – jokes apart (mazaak ki baat alaghai), we may even exceed this ratio, but fixing the sex ratio is a subject that the state takes very seriously.”Manohar Lal Khattar, Chief Minister, Haryana
Khattar’s derogatory remark has come just a couple of days after Muzaffarnagar BJP MLA Vikram Saini’s statement that his party workers were excited over the government’s step to scrap Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir.
“They can now marry gori (fair) Kashmiri women. There is no issue now,” Saini was heard saying in a video which went viral.
Saini had even defended his statement, saying there was nothing wrong in what he said.
Sentiments around the government’s decision to effectively abrogate Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir are raw. The reason behind the controversy around BJP leaders talking about marrying Kashmiri women, is this:
Under the scrapped Article 35A of the Constitution, a woman who is a resident of Jammu and Kashmir, would lose her property rights and the status of a state subject if she married a person from outside the state. The provision also extended to the children of such women. This provision is now gone.