And just like that, Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar has made the term ‘modern Indian women’ sound like a gaali (Hindi for slang). If you haven’t seen or heard it yet, in another case of another Indian politician saying without thinking, Dr K Sudhakar has the attention of the nation albeit for the wrong reasons. Why? For claiming that modern women in India want to stay single and are unwilling to give birth even after marriage. Speaking at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurological Sciences, Bengaluru, for a World Mental Health day address, the minister lamented the ‘western influence’ on our mindset and stated, “Today we don’t want our parents to live with us. A lot of modern women in India want to stay single. Even if they get married, don’t want to give birth. Paradigm shift in our thinking, it’s not good.”
Not just that; according to him, stress management is an art. “This art we need not learn as Indians. We need to preach to the world how to handle stress, because yoga, meditation and Pranayama are the wonderful tools which our ancestors had taught the world thousands of years back,” he added. See it here to believe it.
#WATCH | …Today we don’t want our parents to live with us. A lot of modern women in India want to stay single. Even if they get married, don’t want to give birth. Paradigm shift in our thinking,it’s not good: Karnataka Health Min on World Mental Health Day,at NIMHANS, Bengaluru pic.twitter.com/LkX7Ab7Sks
— ANI (@ANI) October 10, 2021
Needless to say, the comment has drawn a lot of flak for being regressive. Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar slammed the same and wrote, “They make big promises about women empowerment, while this is what the actual mindset is. Regressive, bashing women for their choices. All masks eventually come off.”
They make big promises about women empowerment, while this is what the actual mindset is.
Regressive, bashing women for their choices. All masks eventually come off. https://t.co/WieXOa22Vt
— DK Shivakumar (@DKShivakumar) October 11, 2021
Not just him, women and men on Twitter have come to school the minister and point out that it is because “finally Women have started to think beyond marriage and motherhood.” The irony of Dr K Sudhakar saying all that at NIMHANS and on World Mental Health Day is also not lost on anyone. See for yourself.
So much so that the minister has defended his statement and said that it is backed by a survey. Stating that he was a proud father of a daughter and a trained doctor himself, he clarified that “my statement about the younger generation shying away from marriage and reproduction is also based on a survey. The findings of YouGov-Mint-CPR Millennial Survey shows that, among millennials, 19 per cent are not interested in either children or marriage.”
Nothing threatens the patriarchy more than a woman exercising agency. https://t.co/H9k5N4LMRb
— Ruchira Chaturvedi (@RuchiraC) October 11, 2021
This is the typical Indian gynaecologist’s favourite health minister https://t.co/668uTKfzMi
— Neerja (@neerjadeodhar) October 11, 2021
NIMHANS could have done this world a favour https://t.co/k6PP4mJurd
— amrita madhukalya (@visually_kei) October 11, 2021
Who is the cause of the all ‘stress’ in our society right now?
Because she demands her rights and makes her own choices.
Boy, that definitely can’t be good. Can it. 🤦🏻♀️👌🏻😑 https://t.co/uPx5vnjVzr
— Ashameera Aiyappan (@aashameera) October 11, 2021
What’s wrong with a woman wanting to remain single? And whether to’ve have a child or not is a very personal decision. It’s her choice. What’s your problem??? https://t.co/MCY10c7Ora
— Sharmistha Mukherjee (@Sharmistha_GK) October 11, 2021
Ok then. https://t.co/KyyhBjity7
— Nikita Dutta (@nikifyinglife) October 11, 2021
Man is a Class A idiot https://t.co/s0gKbHLkxP
— vir sanghvi (@virsanghvi) October 11, 2021
The real question is why they invited this shit! https://t.co/4zT6W7nJAV
— Shagun Mangal (@_Shagun_Mangal) October 11, 2021
litrly what I was just studying about: how the entire burden of care is ALWAYS on women, &this is how they force us 2shoulder all the “moral” obligations of society so that we’re the ones choosing b/w doing all the carework &thus giving away our own ambitions or rejecting to do https://t.co/YZZ3jtesAL
— male manipulator musician (@badbitchbernie) October 12, 2021
Huh? Staying single or not having a child is a legitimate choice – not a mental health issue! Get off the stage. https://t.co/63tIIYrqyl
— अद्वैता काला Advaita Kala 😷 (@AdvaitaKala) October 11, 2021
And then we wonder why in India rape, sexual harrasment and abuse is normalised. Such people should not be allowed to hold public office. https://t.co/Lhwdd9LuR1
— T M Krishna (@tmkrishna) October 11, 2021
it’s like he’s bitching about one particular woman he knows, a woman who makes him super insecure but he’s applying it to everyone. https://t.co/MTrsldaMbc
— BookOfGenesia (@genesiaalves) October 11, 2021
Who gave you the right to make such anti-women comments. Mr @mla_sudhakar you don’t deserve to be a health minister.
This person definitely needs to be Counseled on #WorldMentalHealthDay https://t.co/4Rj7q8N7Yk
— Dr Pushpa Amarnath (@DrPushpaAmarnat) October 11, 2021
Modern misogynists like K Sudhakar must understand by now that they cannot decide what Indian women do with their bodies and what decisions they make in their lives. https://t.co/jd9ELdlbBn
— Gullu Baradar 🚜🏹 (@Gullu_Baradar) October 11, 2021
So it’s bad to be single and not have your parents live with you…
Who could this be about?? https://t.co/qmowgBrpcC
— Seema Goswami (@seemagoswami) October 11, 2021
We are NOT baby producing machines. It was, is and will be our choice. None of your business. Who do you think you are to make such comments? https://t.co/Ew417TdcMh
— Sneha Patil (@sneha2986) October 11, 2021
Sorry Mr. Health Minister women choosing not to get married or have children are NOT mental .
— Sujata Pandey 🇮🇳 सुजाता पांडेय (@sujatapandeyb) October 12, 2021
Yes Finally Women have started to think beyond Marriage & Motherhood.Period.
— Niharika (@maverick_1192) October 10, 2021
However, he also added that he had no intention of singling out women. “The only point I was trying to convey was that our youth can find solution and solace to mental health issues in our traditional family and its value system which offers a wonderful support system.”
The only point I was trying to convey was that our youth can find solution&solace to mental health issues in our traditional family&its value system which offers a wonderful support system. I had no intention to single out women nor did my words mean so: Karnataka Health Minister
— ANI (@ANI) October 11, 2021
Now, in case you would want sound knowledge about modern dating patterns and lifestyle changes in the pandemic, hear it from a psychologist herself.
Cover Image: Dr Sudhakar K/Twitter