• Tuesday, Apr 20, 2021
  • Last Update : 09:46 pm

India's Rahul Gandhi rebuked for 'misogynistic' remarks against defence minister

  • Published at 10:00 pm January 10th, 2019
Rahul Gandhi
File photo of Rahul Gandhi Reuters

Rahul mocked Modi for staying away from parliament as it discussed accusations of corruption against the government in a deal to buy 36 Rafale planes from France's Dassault Aviation and a decision to pick Reliance Defence as a domestic partner

Indian opposition leader Rahul Gandhi has come under fire for "misogynistic" remarks when he asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to "be a man" and not field a woman, the defence minister, to defend him in debates over a controversial fighter jet deal.

Gandhi, president of the Congress party, on Wednesday mocked Modi for staying away from parliament as it discussed accusations of corruption against the government in a deal to buy 36 Rafale planes from France's Dassault Aviation and a decision to pick Reliance Defence as a domestic partner.

The government and the companies deny the charges, but the latest controversy has intensified rivalry between Congress and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of a general election due to be held by May.

Gandhi, the scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty that has ruled India for decades, often calls Modi a "thief" while the prime minister addresses him as "privileged dynast" in most of his public speeches.

"He runs away from the people's court and asks a woman, Nirmala Sitharaman ji, 'defend me, I won't be able to defend myself'", Gandhi said at a public rally, referring to Modi and using a honorific for Sitharaman.

Gandhi's comments drew widespread criticism on social media. Some people said Sitharaman - the second woman to run the defence ministry after the late Indira Gandhi, a former prime minister and Rahul Gandhi's grandmother - deserved an apology.

Sitharaman has not commented but her cabinet colleague, Sushma Swaraj, also a woman, said Gandhi's comments hit a "new low in the history of Indian politics."

#BeAMan was one of the most trending hashtags on Twitter and some women posted their pictures holding placards that said: Mr Rahul Gandhi, real men don't insult women."

Congress rejected the accusations of misogyny, saying Gandhi was a "progressive, inclusive and liberal leader" and that the party believed in gender equality. It added the reference to "woman" by Gandhi was an "innocent figure of speech."

But the National Commission for Women, a statutory body that fights for women's rights, condemned Gandhi's comments.

"The remarks made are extremely misogynistic, offensive, unethical and show an extreme disrespect towards the dignity and honour of women in general," the commission said in a notice.

"The commission strongly condemns such irresponsible and disparaging views of persons holding responsible positions."

The controversy came a day after Indian cricketer Hardik Pandya apologised for comments made during a high-profile talk show aired on Sunday, when he bragged about "hitting" on women and telling his parents about them.

"Honestly, I got a bit carried away with the nature of the show," Pandya, currently with the Indian team playing in Australia, said on Twitter. "In no way did I mean to disrespect or hurt anyone's sentiments. Respect."

51
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail