Bengaluru (Karnataka): Following the controversy that erupted after his comments that modern women in India want to stay single, Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar on Monday issued a clarification and said that he did not have any intention to single out women.
He asserted that his statement about the younger generation shying away from marriage and reproduction is also based on a survey. “I would like to clarify that I had no intention to single out women nor did my words mean so. I urge everyone to go through the full speech,” he said in a statement.
The minister said that through his address at the World Mental Health Day programme organized by NIMHANS here on Sunday, he intended to send across the message on how our Indian family value system can address the mental health issues that we are facing today.
“It is unfortunate that a small part of my address out of the nineteen and a half minutes long speech during the World Mental Health Day program at NIMHANS on Sunday is taken out of context and thereby losing out on the larger point I was trying to make at the prestigious National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences,” he said.
“First of all, I would like to convey that I am myself a proud father of a daughter and I am also a medical doctor by training. So I fully understand the sensitivities around women and also the mental health issues that are concerning us,” he added.
His clarification came in a backdrop of his statement at the programme organised by NIMHANS here on Sunday. The minister had said, “I am sorry to say this, lots of modern women in India want to stay single. Even if they get married, they don’t want to give birth. They want surrogacy. So there is a paradigm shift in our thinking, which is not good. We are going in a western way, we don’t want our parents to live with us”. Sudhakar said his statement was based on the findings of the YouGov-Mint-CPR Millennial Survey.
“The findings of YouGov-Mint-CPR Millennial Survey shows that, among millennials, 19 per cent aren’t interested in either children or marriage. Another 8 per cent want children but are not interested in marriage. Among post-millennials (or Gen Z adults), 23 per cent aren’t interested in either children or marriage”, he said. “As in the case of millennials, 8 per cent want children but are not interested in marriage. There are very few gender-wise differences in these trends. It is applicable to both boys and girls,” the minister added further.
“The only point I was trying to convey was that our youth can find solution and solace to mental health issues like anxiety, depression and stress in our traditional family and its value system which offers a wonderful support system,” he added.