Union Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma on Sunday created a controversy when he suggested that foreign women tourists should not wear skirts and other “short” dresses at night in Agra and avoid moving alone at night.

Mr. Sharma, who was answering questions from the press in Agra, said, “for their safety foreign women tourists should not wear short dresses and skirts.”

He maintained that this suggestion would be part of the advisory to tourists as Indian culture is “different” from western.

 Mr. Sharma clarified that he was not calling western culture bad but only pointing out the differences between the two cultures.

Stresses sensitivities

He also said that tourists should be aware of the sensitivities associated with temple towns like Agra, Mathura and Vrindavan.

Mr. Sharma also suggested that foreign tourists take snapshots of cabs and autos they use so that it could be used in case of any unfortunate events.

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