Indians are miffed with their Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi. And why not?
In a rather bizarre statement made on a television show, Gandhi defended the imposition of early curfews on girls’ hostels (known as dormitories elsewhere) across the country, saying young women needed protection from their own “hormonal outbursts.”
When questioned by a female college student on the rationale behind 6 p.m. curfews in ladies’ hostels, the minister said: “When you are 16 or 17 you are also hormonally very challenged. So to protect you from your own hormonal outbursts perhaps a lakshman rekha (boundary line) is drawn. It really is for your own safety.”
Ironically, she was invited to speak on gender equality and women empowerment around International Women’s Day.
Unsurprisingly, Twitterati slammed her for the “regressive” comments.
Some of them even reminded her of her own past. Gandhi is married in India’s oldest political family, the Nehru-Gandhis, and had met her husband, the late Sanjay Gandhi, as a teenager.