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Women artistes accused the minister of ‘insulting’ women, demanded his removal from the post

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Goa’s Art and Culture Minister Govind Gaude.

Panaji: Some actresses in Goa have made serious allegations against the state’s Art and Culture Minister Govind Gaude. These actresses allege that Gowde has insulted women in the field of art, culture and literature on the issue of conferring state awards. These women actresses have demanded the removal of Gowde from the cabinet. Let us inform that Gowde announced the names of 12 recipients of the prestigious Goa State Cultural Award, out of which not a single woman is. Producer-actress Jyoti Kunkolienkar along with actress Suchita Narvekar and activist Auda Viegas held a press conference and demanded Gowde’s removal from the cabinet for ‘insulting’ women.

‘Was no woman capable of this?’

Jyoti Kunkolienkar said, ‘We said whatever we felt on this issue. After this the minister said that no woman was worthy enough to be given the award. He also asked whether there is any rule that awards should be given to women also? Kunkolienkar questioned whether there is any rule that the award should be given only to men? He also rejected the minister’s alleged statement that thousands of applications were received for the awards. Jyoti said, ‘A maximum of 120 applications can be received. Not more than this.

‘Women also deserve these awards’

Seeking the Chief Minister’s intervention in the matter, Kunkolienkar said, ‘I request Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to come out with a clarification on this issue and announce the names of those who have applied for the awards.’ According to Suchita Narvekar, Gowde also said that when it comes to deciding on awards, it is not the panchayat elections with 33 per cent reservation for women. He said, ‘We are not demanding 33 percent reservation for women for state awards. We are speaking on this issue because women also deserve these awards.

‘Rewards are given on the basis of merit’

Narvekar also questioned whether there was not a single woman among the thousands of applications who could have been eligible for the award. Suchita said, ‘I request Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to remove such a minister who does not know how to respect women. One should not forget that in the past a minister had to step down due to the women’s movement. Meanwhile Gowde had clarified that a selection committee was appointed to confer the awards and the decisions were taken by the panel. He said that awards are given on the basis of merit.

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