Goa PWD minister walks dangerous line by calling on ban of girls visiting pubs in 'short dresses'; Sudin Dhavalikar also defends controversial Sri Ram Sene chief Pramod Muthalik
A senior minister in the Manohar Parrikar-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Goa has echoed controversial Sriram Sene chief Pramod Muthalik, saying that the practice of girls visiting pubs while wearing short dresses is against local culture and should be stopped.
"The (practice of) young girls going to pubs in short dresses does not fit in our culture. What will happen to our Goan culture, if we allow this? The scantily dressed girls visiting pubs project wrong culture and this should be stopped," state Public Works Department (PWD) Minister Sudin Dhavalikar said.
The minister went on to say: "Whatever Muthalik is saying is not wrong. He is not speaking against any religion. Everyone has a right to speak about his own religion."
In what caused a massive controversy in 2009, Sri Ram Sene activists attacked girls and men in a pub in Mangalore, claiming the women were violating traditional Indian values.
More recently, Muthalik's induction into the BJP, ahead of Lok Sabha elections earlier in the year, was cancelled after a hue and cry was generated over his anti-modernity image. Dhavlikar said: "Muthalik is against pub culture and he is right in opposing it."
Dhavlikar also ruled out banning Muthalik from opening a branch of his outfit in Goa, as demanded by Congress, saying: "You cannot ban anybody going anywhere. I can go anywhere in India."
"There are a number of NGOs operating in Goa and Sri Ram Sene would be yet another NGO in the State. However, we will not tolerate any attempt to create any law and order problem in the state," the minister said.
"Sri Ram Sene is like Shiv Sena of yesteryears which was doing similar things," he said, referring to Sena's past agenda in which the saffron party would oppose celebration of Valentine's Day by calling it a cultural invasion.
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