In a series of posts tweeted today Union minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore denied he had said on Friday that women journalists are more suited for off-field roles like news analysis instead of field reporting.
"Wrong interpretation. My wife is an ex-soldier," Mr Rathore, 45, said in one tweet. In others, he protested, "False, false, false. Totally false, Shame."
Claiming misrepresentation Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore on Friday had said women in media would be better off pursuing off-field roles like that of news analysis as opposed to field reporting in view of safety, challenging conditions and odd hours of work.
Rathore's remarks have come under fire for being seen as sexist. He has taken to Twitter to defend himself and said that his words have been wrongly interpreted.
According to IANS, Rathore said that in contrast to the "reducing importance" of factual news business practiced by TV journalism, women scribes should take to print that is more about "analysis of the implication of the news".
In print, "your (women journalists) role could be far better utilised without going out in the field. Not that you should not go out. In the sense of safety and security, the working hours, conditions, and different roles attached as a mother, sister, or a wife," Rathore told women journalists in a media interaction at Indian Women's Press Corps .
Stressing the fact that his suggestion was free of any gender bias, he said avenues "like sports, battlefields, Maoist-infested areas become issues for women journalists to be present there".
Rathore says his remarks have been wrongly interpreted. He wrote on Twitter, "Every one who knows me or has met my family knows that I stand for women at par with men. My wife is an ex soldier who has served in field." He added, "I've the highest respect for women personally & professionally. My 6 month pregnant soldier wife was on battlefield after parliament attack." He also tweeted that the headlines and quotes were a false interpretation of what he said.
Nevertheless media has many times come under fire for going overboard on reporting which takes it away from objectivity. Respect for women and their work surely demands recognition but it is also not necessary to attribute motives or intentions to an individuals neutral views expressed publicily. No one better than a soldier knows to respect the fairer sex whether a professional or non professional undoubtely.