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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Karnataka: In soup over comments, minister Sudhakar says ‘had no intention to single out women’

“Through my address at the World Mental Health Day programme at NIMHANS, I intended to send across the message on how our Indian family value system can address the mental health issues that we are facing today,” Sudhakar said.

By: Express News Service | Bengaluru |
Updated: October 11, 2021 8:33:56 pm
Dr. K Sudhakar, Karnataka health minister, Karnataka Medical Education ministerKarnataka Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar | Express Photo/file

A day after his claim that “modern Indian women want to stay single, are unwilling to give birth even after marriage and desire children by surrogacy” drew flak, Karnataka Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar issued a clarification on Monday saying that he had “no intention to single out women”.

“Through my address at the World Mental Health Day programme at NIMHANS, I intended to send across the message on how our Indian family value system can address the mental health issues that we are facing today,” Sudhakar said.

He alleged that a small part of his nineteen-and-a-half-minute-long speech during the World Mental Health Day programme at NIMHANS (National Institute of Mental Health and Neurological Sciences) was “taken out of context”.

“I would like to convey that I am myself a proud father of a daughter and I am also a doctor by training. So, I fully understand the sensitivities and also the mental health issues that are concerning us,” he said.

However, Sudhakar cited a survey to back his statement on the younger generation shying away from marriage and reproduction. “The findings of YouGov-Mint-CPR Millennial Survey shows that 19% of millennials aren’t interested in either children or marriage. Another 8% want children but are not interested in marriage. Among post-millennials (or Gen Z adults), 23% aren’t interested in either children or marriage. As in the case with millennials, 8% want children but are not interested in marriage,” he said.

The minister then clarified, “There are very little gender-wise differences in these trends. They are applicable to both boys and girls.”

Meanwhile, opposition MLAs criticised Sudhakar’s Sunday statement. Jayanagar MLA Sowmya Reddy termed it a “misogynistic point of view”. Reddy added that such a statement was “embarrassing”, especially if it came from a health minister who is also a doctor.

Shivajinagar MLA Rizwan Arshad alleged that such statements were made by the BJP minister “to please his bosses”. Condemning the statement, Arshad said, “Women have no role in the RSS and the BJP. These organisations believe in a patriarchal society.”

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