Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has issued a humbling apology for his “derogatory” comments about the role of women’s education in population control.
This apology comes after widespread criticism and demands for an explanation from various quarters.
Nitish Kumar, known for his stance on education and women empowerment, expressed remorse for his words and reiterated his commitment to these causes.
A Controversial Remark
During a session in the state Assembly, Nitish Kumar made remarks that were seen as crude attempts to shift the responsibility of population control onto women.
He claimed that education is necessary for population control, but his language was deemed “shameful,” “disgusting,” and “vulgar” by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the National Commission for Women.
Realizing the impact of his words, Nitish Kumar took the opportunity to issue a sincere apology and retract his comments.
He admitted that his words were not intended to hurt anybody and emphasized his commitment to women empowerment and development.
Nitish Kumar’s Commitment to Women Empowerment
Despite the controversy surrounding his remarks, it is important to acknowledge Nitish Kumar’s track record on women empowerment.
Throughout his political career, he has consistently advocated for the rights and upliftment of women.
By apologizing and acknowledging his mistake, Nitish Kumar has demonstrated his commitment to rectify any harm caused and continue his efforts towards empowering women in Bihar.
In an attempt to provide clarity, Nitish Kumar’s deputy, Tejashwi Yadav, defended the Chief Minister’s statements, stating that he was referring to reproductive education in schools.
Tejashwi Yadav clarified that reproductive education is crucial and taught in schools to address practical aspects related to population control.
This clarification highlights the importance of educating both men and women about reproductive health and family planning.
Despite the clarification, Nitish Kumar faced criticism from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The opposition party, which was formerly an ally of the Chief Minister, resorted to personal attacks, calling him a man “whose mind is incepted with worms from B-grade adult films.”
Union Minister Nityanand Rai also questioned Nitish Kumar’s mental stability and called for his detachment from politics.
The controversial remark made by Nitish Kumar did not go unnoticed by other political leaders. All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi criticized the choice of words used by the Chief Minister.
Owaisi reminded Nitish Kumar that the Legislative Assembly is a sacred place and suggested a more respectful approach to discussing important matters such as women’s education and reproductive health.
Amidst the controversy, Nitish Kumar’s government tabled the caste survey report in the Bihar Assembly. The report revealed that a significant proportion of Bihar’s population belongs to the Extremely Backward Classes (EBCs) and Other Backward Classes (OBCs).
In response, the government proposed raising quotas for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, OBCs, and EBCs from the existing 50 percent to 65 percent.
These revisions would exceed the 50 percent cap set by the Supreme Court in 1992, considering the additional 10 percent reservation for Economically Weaker Sections.
The Reality of Bihar’s Socio-economic Situation
The caste survey report also shed light on the socio-economic conditions in Bihar. It highlighted that 34 percent of all families in the state survive on less than ₹ 6,000 per month and that 42 percent of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes households live in poverty.
These statistics underscore the urgent need for comprehensive measures to address poverty and uplift marginalized communities in Bihar.