‘Not All Women’: BJP National General Secy Defends Karnataka Minister’s Controversial Comments

After health minister K. Sudhakar said on Sunday that 'modern' Indian women want to stay single and are unwilling to give birth, C.T. Ravi claimed that this 'mindset' was particularly prevalent among 'IT workers'.

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New Delhi: C.T. Ravi, the BJP’s national general secretary, has defended the comments of Karnataka health minister K. Sudhakar, who said on Sunday that ‘modern’ Indian women want to stay single, are unwilling to give birth even after marriage and desire children by surrogacy.

While the health minister’s claims were criticised by women’s groups and activists, Ravi defended his party man. Speaking to news agency ANI in Hindi on Monday, he said:

“Not all women are like that. [There are] some women, who are educated, those who are employed, particularly in IT — this mindset is more visible in them. Is every woman like that? No. This is something to think about. This is happening because of increased western influence and because of micro families. This is a serious matter and it is necessary to think about it. But not all women are like this. Today too, faith in family is more in our country. Our country is not like America or England. We need to think about this.”

According to the Indian Express, Karnataka health minister Sudhakar, facing flak for his comments, on Monday claimed that he had “no intention to single out women”. His remark on ‘modern Indian women’ was intended to “send across the message” on how the Indian family system “can address mental health issues”, Sudhakar said, according to the report.

“Through my address during the World Mental Health Day program at NIMHANS, I intended to send across the message on how our Indian family value system can address the mental health issues that we are facing today,” Sudhakar said.

He alleged that a small part of his speech, which was almost 20 minutes long, was “taken out of context”.

“I would like to convey that I am myself a proud father of a daughter and I am also a medical doctor by training. So, I fully understand the sensitivities around women and also the mental health issues that are concerning us,” he added.

As The Wire has reported, fertility rates are declining across India. While there are several reasons for this decrease, education does play an important role in the decline of fertility rate by increasing the age at marriage, increasing work participation and contraceptive use among women.