Congress president Rahul Gandhi's recent jibe at Narendra Modi, asking the prime minister to "be a man" and face questions on the Rafale deal, drew flak from various quarters.
Reacting sharply to Rahul's remark, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti said she was "disappointed" at how "misogynistic comments are normalised in our political discourse".
Mufti took to Twitter to say phrases like "Be a man/ man up/ stop behaving like a woman" reek of "blatant sexism".
As a woman, feel deeply disappointed when misogynistic comments are normalised in our political discourse. Be a man/ man up/ stop behaving like a woman - such phrases reek of blatant sexism. Ironical since Indira ji was referred to “as the only man in the cabinet”.
— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) January 10, 2019
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said the comments on Sitharaman's reply to the Rafale debate mark a "new low" in Indian politics, while textiles minister Smriti Irani put out a tweet with the hashtag "#MisogynistRahul".
राहुलजी के अहम को चोट इतनी पहुँची की संयम खो बैठे — आख़िर एक सामान्य महिला की हिम्मत कैसे हुई राहुल को ललकारने की? #MisogynistRahul https://t.co/4LrZJRJleg — Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) January 10, 2019
The National Commission for Women (NCW) on Thursday also expressed its displeasure at Rahul's statement in a letter addressed to him. The NCW called his remarks "extremely misogynistic, offensive and unethical." The commission also wrote that the body "strongly condemns such irresponsible and disparaging views of persons holding responsible positions."
National Commission for Women (NCW) issues notice to Congress President Rahul Gandhi over his statement "PM ran away & asked a 'mahila' (Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman) to defend him" pic.twitter.com/xTAyqNeXg1
— ANI (@ANI) January 10, 2019
Similarly, Delhi Commission for Women chairperson Swati Maliwal called Rahul's statement "regressive". "I fail to understand how men forget that women are far stronger than them!" Maliwal tweeted. After Modi attacked Rahul for his remarks that the prime minister made a "woman" defend him in Parliament over the Rafale deal, the Congress president took a jibe at the prime minister saying in "our culture respect for women begins at home".
With all due respect Modi Ji, in our culture respect for women begins at home. Stop shaking. Be a man and answer my question: Did the Air Force and Defence Ministry object when you bypassed the original Rafale deal? Yes? Or No? #RafaleScam — Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) January 9, 2019
While addressing a rally at Jaipur in Rajasthan, Rahul on Wednesday said the prime minister, who "claims to have a broad chest" had "run away" from a debate in the Parliament on the matter.
"The watchman with a 56-inch chest ran away and told a woman, Sitharaman ji, to defend him," he said.
"For two-and-a-half hours, the woman could not defend him. I had asked a straight question – answer yes or no – but she couldn't answer," Rahul said.
Later, on Wednesday, in his public meeting in Agra, Modi reacted strongly at the Congress chief's remark, saying that the Opposition is bent on insulting women. "This is an insult to the women in the country," Modi added.
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Updated Date: Jan 10, 2019 17:22:05 IST