From eating beef to pre-marital sex: Haryana CM ML Khattar’s pearls of wisdom

New Delhi: ML Khattar, who became the Chief Minister of Haryana in October 2014, has a world view that doesn’t seem very different than that of a khap panchayat’s a form of governance.

Khattar MLA

A former RSS man who spent 14 years with the organisation, Khatttar has made controversial statements in the past, when he’s blamed women’s clothing for rape and described pre-marital sex as something that’s wrong and happens when boys and girls aren’t on the right track.

A beef with eating beef

Speaking about the horrific Dadri lynching incident, Khattar was quoted saying by Indian Express that the cow is an article of faith here and that a Muslim or Christian wouldn’t be violating their religious belief by not eating beef. He went on to say that the victim made a ‘halki tippani’ (loose comment) about the cow which hurt the sentiments of the people. He echoed the Union Minister of State Dr Mahesh Sharma’s sentiments, saying that it was a misunderstanding.

He went on to compare the incident to a man seeing his mother being killed or his sister being molested (a fascinating comment which ties in with his statements about violence against women), saying ‘we have to go behind the incident and examine his manyata (mentality). We have to understand why he did what he did’.

And finally Khattar explained what democracy meant to him with the statement: “Culturally, we are democratic. Democracy has freedoms, but those freedoms have a limitation. Freedom of one person is only to the extent that it is not hurting another person.” (Read: Is cow slaughter becoming the Hindutva equivalent of drawing the prophet?)

The Haryana CM’s office later denied he actually said that Muslims have to give up eating beef.

Short clothes = Rapes

ML Khattar isn’t the first Indian politician to say this and he won’t be the last as he said blamed girls for the rising crimes against women. He said that girls needed to dress decently so as to ‘not attract the opposite sex’. He had said: “If a girl is dressed decently, a boy will not look at her in the wrong way.”

When asked about the freedom of choice of girls, he replied: “If you want freedom, why don’t they just roam around naked? Freedom has to be limited. These short clothes are western influences. Our country’s tradition asks girls to dress decently.”

No pre-marital sex please

The former RSS man has also in the past deplored pre-marital sex calling it ‘ulti-seedhi cheezein’ (the most literal translation would be monkey business)

He has said: “Pre-marital sex is a blot. Sex after marriage is acceptable. Pre-marital sex happens as the minds of the girls and boys are not on the right track.” Adding that this where Khaps could help: “Khaps maintain the tradition of a girl and boy being brother and sister. They are just making sure that a girl and boy do not see each other in the wrong way. These rulings help prevent rapes too.”

I love Khaps and I cannot lie

Other than the Khap’s aforementioned efforts in making sure boys and girls behave like brothers and sisters, he has praised them for being part of our ‘traditions’.

At a function he had said: “Even today, Khaps are playing an important role in redressing public grievances as well as strengthening the feeling of brotherhood. However, time and again, many misconceptions are spread about Khaps that they are unconstitutional bodies, but I have always been saying that Khaps act as custodian of our social customs,” he said.

Now one could dismiss Khattar’s views as that of an old man slightly out of touch with the times, but ML Khattar is the Chief Minister of a state with an alarmingly decreasing sex ratio. According to the 2011 census, the state has the lowest sex ratio in India where 877 females for every 1000 males. And with a CM, who clearly thinks that men and women, boys and girls don’t deserve the same rights and freedoms, is truly disturbing.