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Saturday, June 10, 2023

“Go to movies with boys & buy phones”, senior DMK minister’s ‘advise’ to girls on using govt aid

A senior DMK minister has ‘instructed‘ college girls to use the ₹ 1000 monthly aid provided by the government to go to movies with boys and buy phones to chat with them. While the scheme was touted as a means for women empowerment, the minister has exposed the real intention, to capture the next generation vote bank, as the reason behind it.

In a video going viral on social media Durai Murugan, Minister of Water Resources advised married women and college girls on how to use the ₹ 1000 monthly aid to be rolled out by the government in September. The video is reportedly from a meeting in Vellore. He can be heard saying, “We are going to give ₹ 1000 to women from September 15 onwards. You can use it for your own expenses. What he(husband) earns, he can eat(spend) it there(workplace). That’s why we are giving ₹ 1000 to run the family” addressing married women.

He further said, “Let’s say your daughter is attending college in Vellore. We will give ₹ 1000 to her as well.”

Addressing college going girls, who will be provided the same amount every month, he said, “Don’t ask your mothers for money to take the bus. Don’t ask her for money when you go to movies with boys. Buy a cellphone for yourself. Chat (with boys) using that. Do whatever you want..that’s what we give ₹ 1000 for”.

It is unclear when he made this speech or whether there is any more context to it. In whichever context the minister made such suggestions, it has received negative criticism from the public. Many on social media commented that the minister was indirectly encouraging college girls to have love affairs without their parents’ knowledge instead of advising them to study and work hard to achieve in their relative fields.

A Twitter user questioned whether the same suggestion can be made for DMK high family’s womenfolk and criticised the minister for insulting women. The Minister’s comment about how men can spend their earnings can be interpreted in another manner as well. 

One of the main sources of TN government’s income is liquor sales through the government run TASMAC shops. Many men, especially daily wagers, spend their earnings in buying liquor resulting in loss of income and domestic abuse at households. The minister’s comment appears to imply that women don’t have to worry about that aspect anymore as the government will give “₹ 1000 to run the family”.

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