Women Look Good When, Baba Ramdev’s Comment Sets Off Controversy

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Ramdev’s indecent remarks on women’s attire have been condemned by leaders

New Delhi:

Yoga teacher and Patanjali Ayurved’s Ramdev’s indecent remarks on women’s attire has set off a controversy that threatens to turn political. Women, Ramdev said at an event on Maharashtra’s Thane, can look good in anything – saree, salwar kameez or even when they wear nothing.

Condemning his comments, Delhi Women’s Commission chief Swati Maliwal said Ramdev should “apologise to the country”.

The video of the speech – made by Ramdev on Friday – was tweeted by Ms Maliwal. On the dais with him was Amruta Fadnavis, the wife of Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s son Shrikant Shinde had also attended the programme.

“I see everyone looks very happy. You have a happy fortune too. Those in front got a chance to wear sarees. Those at the back did not get a chance. They probably packed and brought sarees from home but did not have time to change,” Ramdev is heard saying in the video, smiling all the while.

“You look beautiful in saree. You also look good in salwar suits, like Amruta ji. And if like me, someone does not wear it, that also looks good,” he then added.

The camera panned the audience, where women looked at each other in consternation.

“You wear clothes for social norms,” Ramdev continued, laughing. “Children don’t have to wear any. We used to roam naked till the age of eight or 10 years. It is only in these days that children wear five layers of clothes,” he added.

Ms Maliwal’s tweet that accompanied the video said, “The remarks made by Swami Ramdev on women in front of the wife of the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra are indecent and condemnable. All women have been hurt by this statement, Baba Ramdev ji should apologise to the country for this statement.”

Trinamool Congress’s Mahua Moitra also slammed Ramdev’s comment.

“Now I know why Patanjali baba ran away from Ramlila Maidan in women’s clothes. He says he likes sarees, salwars and…Clearly got a strabismus in his brain that makes his views so lop-sided,” she tweeted, referring to the incident in 2012, when the yoga teacher was caught trying to dodge the police in a white salwar kameez.

The Shiv Sena faction led by Uddhav Thackeray questioned why Mrs Fadnavis did not protest against Ramdev’s comments.

“The government remains silent when the Governor makes an insulting remark on Shivaji, when Karnataka Chief Minister threatens to take Maharashtra villages to Karnataka and now when BJP campaigner Ramdev insults women. Has the government mortgaged its tongue to Delhi?” senior party leader Sanjay Raut told reporters.

The BJP has not responded to the comments. There is no clarification from Ramdev or Patanjali either.

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