Making controversial statements is nothing new for home minister of Madhya Pradesh, Babulal Gaur, and this is perhaps what keeps him in the news constantly. Many are of the opinion that his penchant for outlandish comments is what gives him political currency. He seems to have mastered not only the art of making provocative declarations but also the technique of escaping the storm raised by his incendiary statements.
We list eight such gems spawned from the enlightened mind of Babulal Gaur. Enjoy!
#1 Told a Russian woman, “I can show how to remove dhoti!”
Speaking at a state-level convention of the BJP's naturopathy cell, Babulal Gaur recalled how the wife of a prominent Russian leader was curious about his dhoti. He said, "Signalling towards my dhoti, she asked what was it? When I told him it was a dhoti, she asked me where was the zip? I said there was no zip. Then she asked if it had a belt. I replied no. She grew more curious and wanted to know, how did I wear it. I said it couldn’t be shown in public.” He went on to say, “I told her, ‘I can’t teach you how to wear it, but I can certainly teach you how to remove it, but that too later, not now.’” Gaur has also been quoted saying, “Russian women are healthy. Had that photograph (of a woman kissing his forehead) been available locally, BJP would not have given me a ticket in the first place!’’
#2 “Read Gita to keep glasses, diabetes and hypertension at bay.’
April 25, 2015
Addressing a function of Gita Festival-2015, Babulal Gaur made a remark that by reading Bhagawat Gita and using water from River Ganga, one would not suffer from high blood pressure and diabetes and also would not be required to wear glasses. Gaur said, “Regular practice of Gita recitation helps one keep many diseases like vision defects, diabetes, and other diseases at bay. So one should read the Gita regularly.”
#3 “Rape sometimes right, sometimes wrong.”
June 06, 2014
Babulal Gaur described rape as a social crime, adding the qualifier: “sometimes it’s right, sometimes it’s wrong”. He said, “It is a social crime which depends on both the man and the woman. It is sometimes right and sometimes wrong.” Once this controversial comment led to a massive hue and cry nationally, he defended his statement, saying, “I did not say anything that people won't understand. I said police cannot deter rapes, but can take action only after it has been reported. Rapes occur within closed doors or in isolated places. Without prior information, how can police prevent crime?” Gaur argued rapes are the result of a social ailment. “Despite best efforts, have we been able to stop encroachment or corruption? You serve nudity in films and magazines, you will get back a polluted society,” he said, suggesting rapes won't stop.
#4 “Chennai women are more religious, so sexual crimes are lower.”
January 11, 2014
Babulal Gaur went to Chennai to understand how the Tamil Nadu Police functions, and when he returned he had a “valuable piece of information” to share. He said, “Women in Tamil Nadu wear full clothes and hence the crime rate is lower there as compared to other states.” The minister said that when he asked the police officers in Chennai about the relatively low crime rate in their state, they attributed it to the sufficient number of police stations per lakh population as well as to the religious mindset of women.
#5 “Why can’t a Yadav leader become PM?”
February 9, 2014
When political air in the country was filled with numerous permutations and combinations emerging ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Babulal Gaur surprised everybody when he suggested that a person from Yadav community could also become the prime minister of the country. “Why someone from the Yadav community cannot become the prime minister of the country?” asked Gaur, a BJP leader from Yadav community and former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, while addressing a programme organised by the Yadav Mahasabha. Interestingly, Gaur’s comment came when Narendra Modi was the official candidate of BJP for the top post and there was buzz that Mulayam Singh Yadav too was harbouring the national ambition.
#6 “Asaram is paying price for his past deeds.”
September 07, 2013
Babulal Gaur said that the controversial godman Asaram Bapu was paying the price for his past deeds. "Jo jaisa karega, vaisa hi bhugtega (as you sow, so shall you reap)." He also refused to accept Asaram Bapu as a saint. Talking to media, Gaur, when asked about his comment on the controversial godman, said that Asaram Bapu was not a saint. “He is merely a sermon deliverer and all those who deliver sermons are of similar character. (Asaram Bapu sant nahi hain, we maatra ek pravachankarta hain, jinke charitra aise hi hote hain).” Apparently, Gaur’s remark “cast a slur” on all those who deliver sermons in the country.
#7 “Women aping foreign culture are not for India.”
January 13, 2013
Babulal Gaur said, "Women in foreign countries wear jeans and T-shirts, dance with other men and even drink liquor, but that is their culture. It's good for them, but not for India, where only our traditions and culture are ok,". However, he said, "Let women consider what is good and bad for them".
#8 Send Sindhis back to Pakistan
June 13, 2013
Babulal Gaur told members of traders association of Sindhi market in Sant Hirdaram Nagar in Bhopal, "Stop shouting slogans or else you will be sent to where you are originally from (Pakistan)." Members of the association were protesting outside the minister's resident against the civic body drive to relocate them from Sant Hirdaram Nagar to New Sabzi Mandi, when Gaur reportedly made the scandalous speech.
It is pertinent to note that Gaur is not an ordinary BJP worker. He is former CM and present home minister of Madhya Pradesh. Despite making such insensitive and controversial statements, he is still retaining his post in the government and status in the party. That does require some art. It seems Babulal Gaur has mastered the art!