Gender

MP Minister Babulal Gaur’s Views on Women Have Always Been Regressive

The minister, who was caught on video touching a woman inappropriately, has made several sexist statements in recent years.

Babulal Gaur in a file photo. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Babulal Gaur in a file photo. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Bhopal: A video clip of Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Babulal Gaur inappropriately touching a woman has gone viral. Gaur is pictured touching the woman while ushering people into a low-floor bus which he flagged off at an event in the Barkheda Nathu area of Bhopal on April 21. 

Opposition leaders have strongly condemned the incident. Congress leader Mandvi Chouhan told NDTV, “BJP talks about respecting women… what about the security of the women in Madhya Pradesh?,” while AAP spokesperson Neha Bagga demanded his resignation.

Gaur told PTI, “I only directed women workers to board the bus quickly as it was meant for them only. There is no truth in the clip as shown. Whatever I am saying is true.”

Gaur, 85, is infamous for his sexist statements.

In April 2012, he blamed sexual harassment on short clothing worn by women.

In January 2013, he said: “Women in foreign countries wear jeans and T-shirts, dance with other men and even drink liquor, but that is their culture. It’s good for them, but not for India, where only our traditions and culture are ok.” However, in June 2015, he said that drinking is “a fundamental right.”

In January 2014, he said that incidents of sexual violence were relatively lower in Tamil Nadu because women in the state “visit temples regularly” and “wear full clothes.”

In June 2014, Gaur described rape as “a social crime,” which “depends on the man and the woman,” saying “sometimes it’s right, sometimes it’s wrong.” He then said that it wasn’t possible for governments to ensure that rape was not perpetrated. He also said, “Unless the person wants, no one can dare touch her.”

In May 2015, he said at a convention that he had told a Russian woman that he could teach her how to remove a dhoti. This was purportedly in response to a question from her on how he wears a dhoti without a belt or zipper. In response, Gaur said, “I told her I can’t teach you how to wear it, but I can certainly teach you how to remove it, but that too later not now.”

This January, when asked to comment on a campaign by women activists for the right to enter the sanctum sanctorum of the Shani Shingnapur temple, he remarked, “Leave it…it will be enough for them (women) even if they worship at home.”