Bikinis should be worn in private spaces only, not in temples, churches: Goa Minister

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Panaji, Dec 10 (IANS) Bikinis should only be worn in private spaces in Goa and the swim wear should not be allowed in the state’s temples and churches, Goa’s PWD Minister Sudin Dhavalikar said on Monday.

Dhavalikar, who recently returned from an official trip to Portugal, said in the past, his comments on bikinis were blown out of proportions, in the same way as his demand for an apology for injustices meted out to Goa during the colonial rule from Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa were also blown out of proportions. The latter, the Minister said, cost him several seats in the 2017 Assembly elections.

“I had then said that they (those wearing bikinis) should not visit temples. This is not our culture. They should not come to churches (wearing bikinis) and people in your family will also agree that bikinis should not be worn in temples, in public places. They can do that in private places,” Dhavalikar told a press conference in Panaji.

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Dhavalikar had come under flak in 2014 after he said that bikinis and short skirts were “unsafe” and against Indian culture and should not be worn in public places, including beaches.

Lavu Mamledar, an MLA from the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, which Dhavalikar is a senior member of, had also demanded setting up of a special “bikini” beach on Goa’s beaches, where access would be allowed only with an entry fee.

Dhavalikar had demanded an apology from Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa to Goa in 2016, a few months before the February 2017 state Assembly elections, while the Assembly discussed moving a motion to congratulate Antonio Costa, who is of Goan origin, on his appointment as PM. Dhavalikar now hints at a political motive behind the controversy.

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“It was just two months before elections. That (comment) was hyped by everyone. Because of that I lost seven seats,” Dhavalikar said.

–IANS

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