Goa's Art and Culture minister Dayanand Mandrekar's statement on Wednesday, when he said that women are so immersed in TV serials, that they forget to make tea or enquire about their husbands, who return weary from work, has triggered controversy.
The Congress on Thursday, has claimed that Mandrekar's comments reflect the "khap mentality" of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, especially vis-a-vis women.
"Women are so interested in watching these serials, that once they start watching them in the evenings, they do not even pay attention to their husbands who come home after a long day at work," Mandrekar said while speaking at an awards function organised by the state Arts and Culture ministry in Panaji on Wednesday.
"Today, she is so immersed in the TV, that the fact that her husband has arrived home and has changed clothes does not matter to her. She is not even in the frame of mind to ask him whether he would like to have a cup of tea or not," he added.
"Now we are going in a commercial way and as a result, the manner in which people used to step out with enthusiasm and in big numbers to watch plays, has waned. There are many reasons for this. There is a TV at home and there are several good programmes and serials every day," the minister said.
"Because of these serials, even if there is a good program in the village, they do not care," he said.
He added that the fervour for watching TV serials is such that people "do not even care about religious festivals in the village".
"They feel that if there is a break in the serials they watch because, something critical may happen," the minister also said.
The Congress has claimed that Mandrekar's comments are demeaning to women.
"This is nothing but the real underlying khap mentality of its leaders. Demeaning women is not new to them. While the party claims it has a modern outlook, the comments made by Mandrekar against women, reflects the sad reality of their mindset," Congress spokesperson Sunil Kawthankar told IANS.
However, this is not the first time that the minister courted controversy. In March, 2014 he had made a derogatory remark against Nigerians. The minister later withdrew his comment and apologised.
The minister had said Nigerians were a "cancer" to Goa's tourism industry.