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Bengaluru molestation: Another Indian politician blames Western culture, women

Karnataka home minister G Parameshwara blamed the assaults on 'western culture' and women's choice of clothes. Photograph: (AFP)

WION New Delhi, india Jan 03, 2017, 10.13 AM (IST)

After Karnataka home minister's remarks about women following the molestation of several women in Bengaluru, which critics called regressive, another Indian politician named Abu Azmi has made comments of a similar nature.

Asked about the incident, the Samajwadi Party (SP) legislator from Maharashtra blamed the incident on adopting Western culture, saying "the more naked women appear, the more fashionable they are considered".

"Now-a-days, men and women have been given the liberty to roam around together. If we say anything, we are told we are regressive and old fashioned. I say in my time there was a propriety between men and women when they met. In modern times, the more naked a woman is more fashionable she appears. These things are increasing in the country. It is a black blot on our culture. Western culture is increasing and a stop should be put to this. We should follow culture and traditions of ancient times,"  Abu Azmi told ANI, as translated into English from Hindi by WION.

"If my sister or daughter celebrate New Year's Eve with another man and her brother or husband are not with her, this is not correct," he later added.

"If there is petrol, it will cause fire. If there is sugar, ants will automatically come towards it."

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He said he knew that many people will be angered by his statement but he was "fine with it" because that was the "truth".

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Abu Azmi is the president of the Maharashtra state branch of the SP.

National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Lalitha Kumaramangalam on Tuesday condemned the sexist remarks made by the Karnataka home minister and Abu Azmi and said summons had been issued to them for their "disgusting" assertions.

"Politicising any issue leads to issue being covered up and politics becomes more important. It does not matter whether Abu Azmi belongs to one particular party or other party. To be brutally frank, there are men across all parties who make such disgusting statements and they are all to be condemned equally. In this case, it is Abu Azmi and Karnataka Home Minister," said Kumaramangalam.

Yesterday, Karnataka home minister G Parameshwara had caused outrage with his remark that "such incidents do happen on New Year's day and Christmas" and happened because of "youngsters trying to copy the Westerners not only in the mindset, but even the dressing".

New Year's eve revellers mobbed, groped and made lewd remarks to women in Bengaluru's prominent areas, MG Road and Brigade Road, in the wee hours of  Sunday. The incident was captured by CCTV cameras installed in the area.

The minister's remarks drew an angry response from activists and the NCW chairperson, who demanded the home minister resign and apologise to the women of the country for making such remarks.

(WION with inputs from ANI)

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