On Monday, Twitter was completely abuzz with #DespiteBeingAWoman. It was social media’s reaction to the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s compliment to his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheik Hasina. In a speech during his state visit, he said,
“I am happy that Bangladesh Prime Minister, despite being a woman, has declared zero tolerance for terrorism.”
For the last two days he has faced severe backlash for this sexist statement. While this remark found global attention, the fact is that this is not the first time he ever made a sexist remark. So, here is a quick list to refresh you of all the sexist remarks he has made in the past.
- Back in 2012, right after the cabinet reshuffle of the UPA government, Modi remarked about Shashi Tharoor’s then wife, late Sundanda Pushkar, by saying, “Wah kya girlfriend hai. Have you ever seen a Rs 50-crore girlfriend?”
- When asked about the high malnutrition rates in Gujarat, he said, “The middle-class is more beauty conscious than health conscious – that is a challenge. If a mother tells her daughter to have milk, they’ll have a fight. She’ll tell her mother, ‘I won’t drink milk. I’ll get fat.”
- While inaugurating the 64th state-level Van Mahotsav at Gujarat, he said, “If a daughter is born, plant five trees along your farm and when she’s grown up you can sell the timber to fund her wedding.”
- Way back in 2003, while addressing the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh activists, he proposed that farmers should give drip irrigation sets as dowry to their daughters.
- Just a couple of months ago, while speaking about value-add to farmers, he said, “If he (farmer) sells mango, he gets a little money. If he makes pickles, he makes more money. And if that pickle is packed in a nice bottle, he gets much more. If he puts the bottle in the hands of a girl for advertisement, he will get still more money.“
- At an election rally in Himachal Pradesh in 2013, while referring to Sonia Gandhi, he said, “did Sonia ji bring 10000 crore as dowry?”
Mr. Modi is definitely not helping the cause of women, by such regular doses of sexist statements along with calling women maa, behen and the likes. What are your thoughts?