Haryana CM’s remarks on Kashmir brides triggers sharp reaction from Rahul

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday termed as despicable Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattars “brides from Kashmir” remark, claiming that his comments show what years of RSS training does to the mind of a “weak, insecure and pathetic man”.

“Haryana CM, Khattar’s comment on Kashmiri women is despicable and shows what years of RSS training does to the mind of a weak, insecure, and pathetic man. Women are not assets to be owned by men,” Gandhi said in a tweet.

His reaction came a day after Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had courted controversy with his remarks that people of Haryana are saying that they “can now get brides from Kashmir”, apparently in a reference to the scrapping of the special status for Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution.

“There can be problems if the number of girls are lesser than boys. Our (O P) Dhankarji had said that they (brides) will have to be brought from Bihar. Now some people say, Kashmir is open, they (brides) will be brought from there. But jokes apart, the question is if (sex) ratio is right, then there will be a right balance in society,” Khattar said at an event at Fatehabad on Friday.

Notably, Dhankar in 2014 had said that he would bring brides from Bihar for youths of Haryana if they were unable to find a match in the state, which was infamous for its skewed sex ratio.

Reacting to this, the Delhi Commission for Women on Saturday (August 10) said an FIR should be registered against Haryana Chief Minister M L Khattar and Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Goel for their alleged sexist and misogynistic remarks and acts.

In a statement issued, the DCW said their acts and remarks not only amount to outraging the modesty and denting the dignity of Kashmiri daughters and sisters but has also impacted women and girls all over the country.

Their actions may end up inciting violence in the already sensitive area of Kashmir, it said. “Such statements by those in high constitutional offices reinforce the notions of a patriarchal society and severely undermine the value and voice of women and girls,” the women’s panel said.

The women’s panel also rebuked Goel for allegedly putting out hoardings of Kashmiri girls outside his Delhi residence. “At a time when several states are on high alert, such insensitive and crass comments that hurt the sentiments of an entire state, have the potential of flaring up violence and need to be checked urgently,” it said.

“The commission strongly recommends registration of an FIR in both the matters without considering the issue of territorial jurisdiction,” the women’s panel said. It has demanded an action to be taken in the matter from Delhi Police’s Crime Branch by September 14. No immediate reaction was available from Goel.