Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Friday said people were claiming that Kashmiri women can be brought to the state for marriage now that Jammu and Kashmir’s special status was revoked.
“We have brought so many schemes, like ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’,” Khattar said at an event in Fatehabad. He was speaking about the success of the campaign. “You know Haryana is infamous for its bad sex ratio and female foeticide, but we started a campaign that brought our sex ratio up from 850 to 933. This is a big work of social change.”
“Anyone, young and old alike, can understand how this [poor sex ratio] would create a problem in the future...that there will be fewer women and more men,” Khattar added. “So our [minister OP Dhankar] Dhankhar ji said we will have to bring girls from Bihar. Now some people are saying Kashmir has been opened, we can bring girls from Kashmir also. Jokes aside, if [sex] ratio is fine, then there will be balance in society.”
There have been a flood of misogynistic comments, with many people expressing views on marrying Kashmiri women, since India on Monday revised Article 370 of Constitution that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and ordered all laws to be applicable in the region the way they are in the rest of the country.
This also removed Article 35A of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution, which gave the state power to define permanent residents of the territory and provided them special rights and privileges, including the right to own land. Under the now repealed article, a female resident of Jammu and Kashmir would lose her property rights and the status of being a state subject if she married someone from outside the state. The provision also applied to the children of the women.
On Wednesday, Bharatiya Janata Party member and MLA from Uttar Pradesh’s Khatauli constituency, Vikram Singh Saini said that Muslim party workers should be happy after the Centre’s decisions as they “can now marry the white-skinned women of Kashmir”.
Correction and clarification: The headline has been edited after the video footage of the event where Khattar made these remarks became available.