‘I take back my words, I apologise…’: Nitish Kumar on his population control remarks

This controversy sparked after Nitish Kumar stressed the importance of education among women to control the population.

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Alina Khan
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Courtesy: ANI

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has finally apologised for his bizarre remarks on pollution control in the state assembly on the role of women’s sex education, which ended up becoming a huge bombshell to the leader.

Speaking in the state assembly about women’s education on Tuesday, the chief minister used language that was described as ‘vulgar’ and ‘derogatory’ by the Opposition and women’s panel.

Nitish Kumar apologies for his population control remarks

"Mai apne shabd wapas leta hu, humane yun hi ye bate kehdi thi... Mere bayan ka galat matlab nikala gaya... Maine to mahilao ki shiksha ki bat ki thi.. Agar mere banyan se koi aahat hua hai to maafi maangta hu (I take back my words. My comments have been misconstituted. I just talked about women's education. I apologise if my statements have hurt anybody," Nitish Kumar said.

This controversy sparked after Nitish Kumar stressed the importance of education among women to control the population. During which, he had put forward a vivid description in the state assembly of how an educated woman can restrain her husband during sexual intercourse.

"The husband's acts led to more births. However, with education, a woman knows how to restrain him... this is the reason the numbers (of births) are coming down...You, journalists also understand it well. Earlier it (fertility rate) was 4.3, but it has now reached 2.9. And, soon we will reach 2," Nitish Kumar said.

Opposition hits out at Bihar CM

The BJP soon flayed Kumar for his remarks calling them "most misogynistic, vulgar and patriarchal", and demanded his immediate resignation.

Hitting out at the Bihar chief minister, BJP national spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla said, “The language used by Nitish Kumar inside the assembly is most vulgar, indecent, most misogynistic, sexist and patriarchal. This is the mindset of the chief minister of Bihar... Kumar has become a bekabu babu from shushan babu. Imagine what will be the plight of women of Bihar if such a language is spoken in the Bihar assembly.”

Tejashvi Yadav backs Nitish

However, state deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav has backed up by clarifying Kumar’s statement saying that Kumar was talking about about sex education. He said that it is wrong to misinterpret Kumar's statement.

"Let me clarify something. Whatever the chief minister was saying was about sex education. People become hesitant over this topic, but these are taught in schools -- in Science, Biology. Children learn this. He said what needs to be done practically to control the population. This should not be taken in a wrong manner, but as sex education," Tejashwi said.

NCW on Kumar’s controversial remarks

National Commission of Women also slammed Nitish Kumar for the derogatory remarks saying that the latter appeared to speak like a C-grade movie dialogue in the legislative assembly in the presence of women lawmakers.

“Yesterday's statement of Bihar CM was derogatory, we are deeply concerned with this...The way he spoke was like a C Grade movie dialogue in the Assembly in front of women and the worst was the men sitting behind him were laughing...His actions and gestures were almost like an ugly joke...The worst is this, the Speaker hasn't expunged them yet...Bihar Assembly Speaker should take steps against him, his statements must be expunged,” NCW's Chairperson Rekha Sharma said.

However, Congress MLA Neetu Devi, whose party is a part of the ruling alliance, stood in support of Bihar CM saying that Kumar did not speak with bad intentions. "He was trying to make a simple point but the BJP is indulging in mischief," she said.