Indian minister sparks uproar after sexist comment
An Indian minister found himself at the centre of a political storm, after a remark that wives lose their appeal with age triggered an outrage among women's groups who termed the comment "disgusting".
Speaking at a Hindi-language poetry meet in the northern city of Kanpur on Monday night, Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal said, "An old victory, like a wife of many years, loses charm as time goes by".
The chairwoman of India's National Commission for Women, Mamta Sharma, slammed Jaiswal after the comments were broadcast on news channels. "The comments are derogatory and very unfortunate, he should apologize," she said.
The main opposition Bhartiya Janata Party also criticized Jaiswal for his "sexist remark" and demanded his resignation over the insensitive comments.
Jaiswal said his statement was meant as a joke should be seen in the context of humour and satire at a poetry meet. "I did not mean to insult women, but if I have offended anyone, I apologize," Jaiswal said.
Asked by broadcaster NDTV about the reaction from his wife on his comment, the minister replied he had not spoken to her since the controversy erupted.