Here is one more statement from Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan that has all set to invite controversy. Dr Vardhan has advocated for banning sex education in schools.
The Union Minister is his vision document for Delhi schools says: “So-called “sex education” to be banned. Yoga to be made compulsory.”
Dr Vardhan’s views on sex education is sure to spark a debate and give fresh ammunition to the Congress to hit back at the Cabinet minister.
It was only a day back that Dr Vardhan has sparked a controversy by saying that promoting condom usage is not enough to prevent AIDS. However, Dr Vardhan on Wednesday denied opposing promotion of condoms, and said a combination of condoms and abstinence was needed to fight HIV/AIDS.
And as it is a ritual to blame the media, the Health Minister also expressed “disappointment” over the way media “distorted” his statements.
In the interview to the US daily, Dr Harsh Vardhan was quoted as saying: “One should also promote integrity of sexual relationship between husband and wife – a part of Indian culture.”
“The thrust of the AIDS campaign should not only be on the use of condoms. This sends the wrong message that you can have any kind of illicit sexual relationship, but as long as you’re using a condom, it’s fine,” he said.
In response to the criticism he received, he said: “Any experienced NGO activist knows that condoms sometimes break while being used. That is why government campaigns in India, whether through the National Aids Control Organisation or the state governments, should focus on safe sex as a holistic concept which includes highlighting the role of fidelity to single partners.”
He said: “The tradition of preserving institution of marriage governed relevant government legislations”.
“Even the law on divorce insists on attempts at reconciliation and suggest recourse to separation only in the last resort,” he said. “The culture of regarding husband and wife as halves of a whole should be upheld in the modern age where one sees all-round crumbling of values.”
“My statement on informing people on the supremacy of fidelity as an AIDS prevention measure is not only a piece of cultural advice but also a scientific one. So as Minister of Health I find it justified to include this simple message in the communication strategy of the government’s anti-AIDS programmes,” he said.