Goa’s Art and Culture Minister Dayanand Mandrekar has stirred yet another controversy by making derogatory statements about women at an awards function in Panaji, reported IANS. The minister said, “Women are so interested in watching TV 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.”

He claimed that women get so engrossed every evening 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”. The minister also observed that society was heading towards commercialism, where “stepping out in huge numbers to watch plays” are a thing of the past. He said TV had taken over community programmes, and women no longer “care about religious festivals in the village” either.

The Congress was quick to react to his outrageous remarks. The Opposition party said Mandrekar’s comments were example of the “khap mentality” among ruling Bharatiya Janata Party leaders. “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,” said Congress spokesperson Sunil Kawthankar.

Mandrekar is not new to controversy. He likened Nigerians in Goa to cancer in 2013. He made the comment after around 200 men from the community violently protested against the murder of a Nigerian man in Mapusa. The minister later apologised for his statement.