Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar
A file photo of Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar | Twitter
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New Delhi: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s remarks on Kashmiri women have kicked up a Twitter storm.

A clip of the minister, while speaking half-jokingly at a ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign in Fatehabad district Friday, has gone viral on social media.

In the clip, used in an ANI report, he is seen saying that girls from Kashmir can now be brought to Haryana for marriage — this has led to outrage on social media with Congress’s Rahul Gandhi calling it “despicable”.

However, the comment has been taken out of context. Here’s what Khattar actually said at the event:

“Earlier people used to say that Haryana is a daughter-killer state. But we worked hard towards awareness and now the sex ratio has increased from 850 to 933. Our minister O.P. Dhankar once said that he would bring bahu from Bihar. Now that (Article) 370 is abrogated, people are saying that we will bring girls from Kashmir. It is a joke but that aside (mazaak ki baatein alag hain) gender balance in society has to be maintained.”

The ANI clip left out the part from the video where Khattar suggested that he was only joking.

ANI then uploaded a new story with the complete quote and deleted the previous story . But it did little to contain the damage.

‘Cruel statement from a lawmaker’  

 Congress leader Rahul Gandhi criticised Khattar and said “women are not assets to be owned by men”.

“Haryana CM, Khattar’s comment on Kashmiri women is despicable and shows what years of RSS training does to the mind of a weak, insecure and pathetic man,” he tweeted.

Several Twitter users also condemned Khattar for his remarks.

Another user called it a “cruel statement from a lawmaker” and wrote, “…we don’t want such people to rule the world’s largest democracy”.

However, some came to Khattar’s rescue, condemning those who jumped the gun without watching the full speech first.

One such user called it a “vicious propaganda”, highlighting the fact that only a part of the clip has gone viral.

There were also users who felt that it was “tasteless” and “sexist” for Khattar to have joked about it at all.

Just four days ago, BJP MLA Vikram Singh Saini had also made similar statements, saying that his party workers, especially Muslims, can rejoice as they can now marry fair-skinned Kashmiri women.

Misunderstanding of Article 35A

The comments come in the light of Narendra Modi government’s scrapping of Article 370, which accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and Article 35A.

Article 35A allowed only “permanent residents” to own land in the erstwhile state which is now a union territory. Owing to this, there was a widespread belief that Kashmiri women would lose their permanent resident status if they married outside the state.

But the perception was not true.

In 2002, in The State of Jammu & Kashmir and Others vs Dr Susheela Sawhney and Others, a three-judge bench of the Jammu & Kashmir High Court held that women who were permanent residents of the state would not lose their status upon marrying someone outside of the state or with non-permanent resident status, and were eligible to inherit property even after being married.

On the matter of heirs and whether they also inherit permanent resident status, the bench referred the matter to a larger bench. That case was due to be heard by the Supreme Court, but now, Article 35A has been nullified.


Also read: Why we can’t blame just BJP MLA Saini for lusting after fair Kashmiri women


 

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5 Comments Share Your Views

5 COMMENTS

  1. Whether it’s womenfolk from Bihar or Kashmir the question here is about the mentality and attitude of this illegitimate government and their illegutamate ways. Their motive is to go down to whatever level of humanity they can go. This government is on the verge of its decline just like Russia because when hared and brutality reaches it’s height it is bound to perish. The curse of millions of people praying in makkah and it’s vicinity will definitely show results whether Saudi Arabia or for that matter any other ntion supports kashmiris or not. This Harami govt and it’s haramzadey ministers will face God’s wrath just like sushma swaraj burning more in hellfire. The destiny of the rest will also be the same soon.

    • The Chief Minister’s remarks may be most inappropriate, but this comment that spews hatred and is horribly judgmental, needs to be expunged from the discourse.

  2. People commenting on twitter without knowing facts can be excused but media outlets committing such a blunder is hard to understand. Even now many media people are doubling down on their claims. The thing that struck me after watching the full video besides the twisting of facts was how everyone was so outraged for Kashmiri women but the same comment also contained a reference to women from Bihar. If the claim is that you found the joke tasteless then why just focus on kashmir aspect. Are Bihari women not deserving of respect ? Is it because they are poor and darker skinned ?

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