Politicians around the world are known for publicly saying outrageous things. The Indian politicians as a matter of fact, seem to be competing with the rest of the world to see who can make the most shocking remark.
In the most recent incident, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said, "Foreign cows are not mothers, they are aunties," at an event in Bardhaman of India on November 4.
Dilip Ghosh, president of the West Bengal unit of the BJP, made the dim-witted remark during an event for cow welfare in the city.
"A feature of the Indian cow is that its milk contains gold. That is the reason behind the yellowish colour of milk," he said nonchalantly.
During his speech, the minister also justified his reasoning behind his opinion by adding, "Indian cows have humps, something that foreign cows do not have. Instead, they have straight backs, like buffalos.
"The hump has an artery, called "swarnanari" (golden artery). When sunlight falls on it, gold is made."
Earlier, Uttarakhand BJP minister Rekha Arya claimed that cows are the only animals that not only breathe oxygen, but also exhale it back to the environment.
Here are a few more statements made by Indian political figures, which are not only bizarre but have the ability to shake someone's moral code to its core.
1. India's air was polluted by Pakistan and China: Vineet Agarwal Sharda
The Uttar Pradesh BJP leader claimed that Pakistan and China are to be blamed for the high levels of air pollution in India's capital New Delhi and its adjacent areas. He alleged that any of the two countries could have released poisonous gases into India.
"There is a possibility that this poisonous gas could have been released by any neighbouring country which is afraid of us. I feel that Pakistan or China is afraid of us," the BJP leader told Asian News International.
Justifying his statement, Vineet explained that Pakistan and China have resorted to such measures as they have yet to earn a single victory in any battle against India.
Vineet said the two Indian leaders - Modi and Shah, whom he referred to as Lord Krishna and Arjuna from the epic Mahabharata, were capable of solving all problems.
"This is a time of Krishna and Arjuna. Modi as Krishna and Shah as Arjuna together will take care of it," he said.
2. We have black people all around us: Tarun Vijay
In April, 2017, BJP's former Rajya Sabha member and president of the India-Africa Parliamentary Friendship Group Tarun Vijay raised a storm by calling South Indians "blacks" while participating in an Al Jazeera television show.
"If we were racist, why would we have the entire south (India) which is… you know Tamil Nadu, you know Karnataka and Andhra… why do we live with them? We have black people all around us," Vijay said in a response to Mahesh Shantaram, a Bengaluru-based photographer who claimed to have found Indians to be racists.
On March 27, at least nine Africans were seriously injured in mob violence in Greater Noida as a result of the fallout of March 24's raid on Nigerian students by local people, who accused them of cannibalism.
3. Despite being a woman: Narendra Modi
In June 2015, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi courted a controversy through his sexist remark while delivering a lecture at the Dhaka University in Bangladesh.
During the event, Modi congratulated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for boldly saying that she has zero tolerance towards terrorism "despite being a woman."
The Indian prime minister said, "The countries in the world are unsure about how to tackle terrorism. The United Nations is also not in a position to guide them.
"It is heartening that the prime minister of Bangladesh, despite the fact that she is a woman, is openly saying that she has zero tolerance for terrorism. I would like to congratulate Sheikh Hasina for her firmness to deal with this menace."
4. Internet existed in the Mahabharata era: Biplab Deb
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb, during an event in 2018 said, "India has been using the internet since ages. In Mahabharata, Sanjay was blind but he narrated what was happening in the battlefield to Dhritarashtra anyway.
"This was due to the internet and technology. Satellites also existed during that period."
Adding that those who refuse to believe it are narrow-minded, the minister further said, "They want to belittle their own nation and think highly of other countries. Believe the truth."
Biplab made the statement while claiming it was Narendra Modi who familiarized the use of the internet and social media across India.
5. Rapes increase population: Mamata Banerjee
In an event in October 2012, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, "You say incidents of rape are on the rise. But the population is also swelling. Is the population in the state still the same as it was during the tenure of (the state's second chief minister) BC Roy?"
The chief minister also accused the media of glorifying rape and pointed towards the more permissive society.
"Earlier, if men and women held hands, parents would reprimand them. Now everything is done openly. It is like an open market with open options," Mamata said.
7. Wife becomes old and loses her charm: Sriprakash Jaiswal
While speaking at a poetry meet, former Indian Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal had said that women lose their charm after a few years of marriage.
"A fresh victory and a new marriage are important in their own way. As time passes, the joy of the previous victory fades, just like a wife becomes old and loses her charm," the former minister announced.
Following the sexist remark, a case was filed against Jaiswal by petitioner Anita Dua, who argued that the minister should be charged with defamation for making derogatory remarks against women.
Jaiswal first tried to defend himself and then apologised to the people for making the statement.
8. Rapes occur in India, not in Bharat: Mohan Bhagwat
In 2013, Mohan Bhagwat, chief of the right-winged Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, said that rapes are an urban crime caused by westernisation, and it does not happen in rural India rich with traditional values.
He alleged that crimes against women happening in urban India are caused by a lack of traditional values.
"Such crimes do not happen in Bharat, or in the rural areas of the country. If you visit the rural regions, there will be no such incidents of gang-rape or sex crimes," Mohan said.
He further said, "Where Bharat becomes India with the influence of the western culture, such incidents will happen. The actual Indian values and culture should be established at the every stratum of society where women are treated as mothers."
9. Punish women too in rape cases: Abu Azmi
Abu Azmi, a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, also came under fire for his statements about rape survivors.
"If a woman is caught (in a rape case), then both she and the boy should be punished. In India, there is death penalty for rape, but when there's consensual sex outside marriage, there's no death penalty against women," he had said.
Among the first to react to this statement was Azmi's son Farhan.
"I do not agree with my father's view on rape. Rape is a heinous crime and a rapist should be hanged. I offer myself to be an executioner without fee to hang the rapists," he said in a reaction.
Farhan told the Times of India that he has five sisters, a wife and a mother in his family and he has always valued the rights of women.
Later, the Maharashtra State Women Commission issued a suo moto show cause notice to the politician, asking him to appear for a hearing.
10. Boys will be boys, they make mistakes: Mulayam Singh Yadav
In April 2014, while opposing the death penalties handed down to three men convicted of gang rape, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav said, "Boys will be boys, they make mistakes."
He went as far as to blame the rape victims, saying that girls get friendly with boys and when they fight and have differences, they term it as rape.
"I know of many such cases, where one person commits the rape and four others get accused. There are cases where one person commits a crime and four brothers in the same family get arrested," he said.
To validate his statement, he added, "It is impossible for four men to rape one woman."