‘Avoid skirts’ when visiting religious places, says Union Minister Mahesh Sharma

NEW DELHI: Union Culture and Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma on Monday denied urging foreign tourists to avoid wearing skirts in the country.

Clarifying on his remarks, the minister said that he made the comment in the context of foreigners who visit religious places where certain rules have to be followed.

Admitting that he was not authorized to issue injunctions on matters of anyone’s dress, he said he wanted to advise tourists to be discreet while visiting religious places.

“Even I have two daughters … I would never tell women what they should wear and what they should not,” he said.

On Sunday, Sharma told an event in Agra that foreign tourists should avoid wearing skirts and refrain from moving out without escort in the evenings in smaller towns.
Both tourism industry leaders and women activists of Agra immediately protested, saying such statements would send out a wrong message about the country.
Agra Development Foundation Secretary KC Jain, who was with the minister, said Sharma had only referred to an advisory to be given out to foreign tourists detailing do’s and dont’s in India.