TDP MP lists virtues of dignified dressing

Links atrocities against women to the dress they are wearing

New Delhi

A TDP member on Thursday created a flutter in the Lok Sabha when he drew a direct link between atrocities against women and the dress that they are wearing. Almost suggesting that their dress perhaps was responsible for inviting assault, the Member of Parliament asked women to dress in a dignified manner.

The remarks triggered protests from women MPs, one of whom said he should be asked to leave the House. But the male members of the House maintained a stupefying silence. Supriya Sule (NCP) and Kumari Sushmita Dev (Congress) were among the women members who demanded that the remarks be expunged. “He (Mohan) should be asked to leave the House…The 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 a decision”.

The TDP member M Murli Mohan made the remark when the issue cropped up during a debate on atrocities on women and children. The statement was further couched in moral rant. “…To uphold the tradition of our Indian culture, I would earnestly appeal to all my sisters, daughters and girls to dress dignifiedly,” the TDP member said.

Outraged social activists wanted to know outside the House what Nirbhaya -– the December 16 gang rape victim — was wearing to invite a grisly sexual assault.  The Shakti Mills gang rape was another case in point where the victim was ‘decently’ dressed.  One activist stretched the argument further and demanded what was the assurance that women won’t be raped if they dressed appropriately.

But the general feeling was that what the MP had said was a manifestation of his misogynist and male chauvinistic mindset, and soon he would be objecting to women going to parties and clubs, too

Taken aback by the outcry, the TDP member tried to make belated amends and told reporters that he would not mind withdrawing his statement if it had hurt their sensibilities.”If they feel my remarks are obnoxious, then I don’t mind withdrawing my statement. If they are disturbed by the statement…I will apologise”, he said.

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