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DELHI: Indian Union Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma on Sunday sparked controversy when he advised foreign tourists to not to wear skirts and go out at nights in India.

Mahesh Sharma said a welcome kit will be handed to tourists with “a list of dos and don’ts” on their arrival at airport.

“There’s a card in there listing the do’s and don’ts. Basic things like, ‘Don’t go out at night alone.’ ‘Don’t wear skirts.'”

“It has instructions like if they are in small cities, they should not roam around alone at night or wear skirts… They should take a picture of the car they are travelling in and send it to a friend as precaution.”

In an answer to a question, the minister said India was a “cultural country” and “we have a different dress code for temples. Kindly keep that in mind while dressing up”.

Responding to the backlash, he clarified that he was speaking “in the context of religious places”, and that he spoke out of “concern”.

“It has instructions like if they are in small cities, they should not roam around alone at night or wear skirts… They should take a picture of the car they are travelling in and send it to a friend as precaution.”

He asserted “I am a father of two daughters…I would never tell women what they should wear or not,” he told reporters.

“Such a ban is unimaginable, but it is not a crime to be cautious. Different countries issue advisories from time to time, but I never said change anyone’s way of dressing.

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The ‘welcome Kit’ prepared for foreign tourists didn’t specifically mention skirts that the minister referred to.

Arvind Kejriwal, one of the Modi’s Government’s sharpest critics lambasted at the move on Twitter.

While many other twitteratis ridiculed the minister:

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However, this is not the first time Sharma has been caught in controversy. Earlier, following the increased rampancy in rape in India, the minister harshly criticized girls for wearing short dresses and going out at nights.