Sriprakash Jaiswal said his statement was “just a joke” (AFP, Raveendran)
NEW DELHI — An Indian cabinet minister landed himself in hot water Tuesday after claiming that wives lose their appeal with age.
Speaking at a Hindi-language poetry meeting in the northern city of Kanpur on Monday night, Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal had said: “An old victory, like a wife of many years, loses its charm over time”.
After footage of his comments was aired on news channels, women’s groups and opposition parties laid into Jaiswal who is from the ruling Congress party.
The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party demanded an apology from the minister for making a “sexist remark” and labelled him as an “insensitive” man.
The chairwoman of the National Commission for Women, Mamta Sharma, called the minister’s comments “very unfortunate”.
“We will write a letter to the prime minister. We demand an apology,” she told reporters.
The comments also sparked outrage on Twitter. “Sriprakash Jaiswal is definitely gonna be slapped by someone,” tweeted one user called Dhanya Rajendran.
Jaiswal on Tuesday said he had been quoted out of context and had not meant to cause offence.
“I don’t want to insult women. My statement was just a joke,” he told reporters.