Women should dress ‘carefully’: NCW chief

A day after National Commission for Women (NCW) member Alka Lamba was removed from the fact-finding committee probing the Guwahati molestation case for naming the victim, NCW chairperson Mamta Sharma on Tuesday said that women should be "careful about the way they dress because such incidents are a result of blindly aping the West".

Asked if she was suggesting that there should be a dress code for women to ensure their safety, Sharma replied: "After 64 years of freedom, it is not right to give blanket directions... and say don't wear this or don't wear that. Be comfortable, but at the same time, be careful about how you dress.... Aping the West blindly is eroding our culture and causing such crimes to happen."

She said the biggest challenge before the NCW today is changing the social mindset of discrimination against women.

"Westernisation has afflicted our cities the worst. There are no values left. In places like Delhi there is no culture of giving up seats for women. It is unfortunate that while the West is learning from our culture, we are giving ourselves up completely to western ways," she said.

Earlier this year, Sharma had sparked a row when she said that the word "sexy" should not be taken in a negative context.

"Boys pass comments on girls terming them sexy, but sexy means beautiful and charming. We should not see it in negative sense," she had said.

Sharma is going to Guwahati on Wednesday to present the recommendations of the NCW's probe team.

While stating that Lamba's action was "indefensible", she added that the issue was played up too much.

"We are thankful to the media for highlighting the incident but at times the asides get more importance than the actual work," she said.

"All reports have clearly shown that police reached the spot 40 minutes later, which is not acceptable. I will talk about the contents of the report only when it comes back from the ministry but this is one aspect which clearly stands out," she said.

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