Goa's art and culture minister Dayanand Mandrekar's statement on Wednesday, when he said that women were 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, claimed that Mandrekar's comments reflected the "khap mentality" of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, especially vis-a-vis women.
"Women are so interested in watching these serials. 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. The very fact that her husband has arrived home and changed clothes does not matter to her. She is not even in a frame of mind to ask him whether he would like to have a cup of tea or not," he added.
"Now, we are all going the commercial way. 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, nobody cares," 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, 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.