Bhopal: The Minister for Food and Civil Supplies in Madhya Pradesh has landed in a controversy after his remarks on women belonging to the Thakur caste went viral, prompting criticism from the public.
"Thakur-Thakar (upper castes) keep their women confined to their homes & don't allow them to work in society. Women of Thakurs and other big people should be dragged out of their homes & made to work in society to ensure equality," Minister Bisahulal Singh was quoted as saying by ANI during a meeting at Anuppur on November 24.
While many social media users felt that the message was the right one, others felt that the phrasing was offensive against the women he sought to hold as an example.
"Words matter. Women participation in work is low in India and overall it just causes problems to society. Although, using harsh words should be avoided in things related to personal choice," a social media user posted on Twitter.
Minister Singh later apologised for his remarks stating that his words had been "twisted" and that he had no intention to degrade any community or its womenfolk.
"I apologize if anyone's sentiments got hurt, but I didn't say it to degrade any community. My motive was to say that women of all backgrounds should do social service with equality. People twisted my words," the minister clarified to ANI.
"I didn't talk about Thakur women or women of MP. I pointed to the people from our board & Brahmins from the district. I don't think I said anything wrong. If people are still hurt, I apologize," he added.