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Devendra Bhardwaj, Hindustan Times
Alwar, January 01, 2013
A call for ban on skirts in schools earned Alwar’s BJP legislator a present from students — a skirt — and a severe dressing down from women’s bodies. Banwari Lal Singhal, who has asked the state government to ban skirts as uniform in private schools to help stop sexual harassment, however, wasn’t skirting the issue. And he was in no mood to retract his statement.

"I have seen many instances of boys on streets passing lewd comments and clicking pictures of girls waiting for school bus," Singhal argued. He claimed he had received support from all quarters of society.

But going by the crowd outside his home on Sunday, women were not exactly overflowing with admiration. "It is a childish statement and the MLA has proved he is a narrow-minded person," said college student Gurjeet Kaur.

"We do not expect our public representatives to make such absurd and misleading statements," added Professor Shachi Arya, secretary of Pragati Sheel Mahila Samiti.

Student leader Gurmeet Kaur, who presented the legislator with a skirt and a memorandum on Sunday, said, "Does he want us to wear burkhas? He must change his mindset.”

"Pakistan, where women wear burkha, has the highest number of rape cases registered in the world,” reminded district Congress committee member Sweta Saini.