A minister in India’s resort state of Goa has drawn ridicule by saying women in bikinis should be banned from beaches and girls in short dresses should not visit pubs.
Sudin Dhavalikar, the state’s public works department minister, told reporters on Tuesday that bikini wearing “can attract problems like molestations” which police find out about too late to deal with.
“I feel that wearing bikinis should be banned on the beaches,” he said.
“We should not allow such types of people to enter public places.”
Dhavalikar, a member of the local Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party which is an ally of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), had early sparked criticism for saying girls going to pubs in short dresses did not fit in with local culture.
“What will happen to our Goan culture, if we allow this? The scantily-dressed girls visiting pubs project wrong culture and this should be stopped,” he said.
Members of the rival Congress party in Goa responded by sending a pink skirt to Dhavalikar, saying they would not tolerate “moral policing”.
Goa’s long sandy beaches have been a haven for tourists for decades, but the state has cracked down on its nightlife over the past few years after a series of high-profile crimes including the rape and murder of British teenager Scarlett Keeling in 2008.
The state last year rejected a proposal for India’s first Playboy club on one of its beaches and announced a ban on dance bars.