Union minister's 'old wives' quip draws flak
Union Minister for Coal Sriprakash Jaiswal,† already under attack over alleged irregularities in the allocation of the coal blocks from different quarters, has stirred up a hornet’s nest by making what many termed an ''obscene'' comment on the women.
Jaiswal, while speaking at a “kavi sammelan” (a poets’ gathering) organised on the occasion of his birthday on Sunday in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur town, reportedly compared victories with wives and said that both lost importance with the passage of time.
“Nai nai jeet aur nai nai shaadi...dono ka apna mahatva hota hai...jaise jaise samay bita jata hai jeet purani ho jati hai...jaise jaise samay bita jata hai to patni bhi purani ho jati hai...phir wo maja nahin rehta” (a new win and a new marriage...both have special importance with the passage of time, the win becomes an old thing,similarly with the passage of time, the wife also gets older...then she does not give that pleasure), Jaiswal reportedly said much to the shock and dismay of the audience and the poets.
The minister was referring to India’s emphatic victory over Pakistan in the ongoing T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka and sought to imply that the people would forget about the victory with the passage of time. As local TV channels aired the footage showing Jaiswal’s remarks, women’s organisations were up in arms in Kanpur and elsewhere. They held a demonstration before the minister’s house in Kanpur on Tuesday demanding his resignation from the Union cabinet. The women’s activists slammed the minister for “turning women into an object that gives pleasure and loses importance once she gets older”.
The BJP’s women wing also held a demonstration in the town and burnt Jaiswal’s effigy to protest the remarks.
“The comments are shameful and denigrate the Indian women. Such a person must not be allowed to continue as a minister,” the women activists said. They said that they would also lodge a complaint with Congress president Sonia Gandhi in this regard.
Later, Jaiswal apologised for the derogatory comments , but said he had been quoted out of context. “I apologise if people are upset, but my comments were taken out of context,” he said.