Thomson Reuters Foundation

Inform - Connect - Empower

India ministers quit after caught watching porn in parliament

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Wed, 8 Feb 2012 15:00 GMT
Author: Nita Bhalla
hum-peo
Tweet Recommend Google + LinkedIn Email Print
Leave us a comment

By Nita Bhalla 

   NEW DELHI, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Three Indian politicians from a morally conservative party, including a women's affairs minister, resigned on Wednesday after being caught watching pornography on a mobile phone during a session of state parliament. 

   News channels broadcast footage showing Karnataka state Minister for Cooperation Laxman Savadi sharing a porn clip with his colleague C.C. Patil, the minister for women and child development, while sitting in the state assembly.  

   The owner of the phone, state Minister for Ports, Science and Technology Krishna Palemar, also quit. 

   "We are requesting the honourable Speaker of the House to conduct an inquiry and we'll come out with a clean chit," Patil said, denying that they were deliberately looking at porn. 

   The three men said they did not want to cause any embarrassment for their party, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which rules the state and is in opposition at a national level. 

   There has been outrage over the incident not just from rights activists and right-wing Hindu groups in conservative India, but also from the riling Congress party which called for the assembly to be dissolved. 

   "We live in a country where there already is this social mindset that women are disposable commodities and are seen as transferable properties," Renuka Chowdhary, a former federal minister for women's development and a member of the Congress Party. 

   "It really is troubling that the people who are in positions of power and have the responsibility to change things actually have the same mindset and are busy watching porn," she told the CNN-IBN news channel. 

   Girls and women in largely patriarchal India face a barrage of threats including rape, dowry-related murder, forced marriage, domestic violence, honour killings and human trafficking. 

 (Editing by Nick Macfie)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. For more information see our Acceptable Use Policy.

comments powered by Disqus