The Chairperson of the National Commission for Women (NCW), Rekha Sharma, was in the news for all the wrong reasons on Tuesday. After having met Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari in Mumbai for discussing a rise in ‘love jihad’ cases in the state, Sharma was slammed for raising the non-issue.
By the end of the day, she had set her Twitter account to private with many on social media referencing many of her old, misogynist and politically incorrect statements.
In a statement on Tuesday, the NCW said that in her meeting with Koshyari, Sharma highlighted the distinction between a consensual inter-faith marriage and love jihad, and said that the latter required attention.
“Madam Chairperson raised the issue of rise in love jihad cases in Maharashtra. She highlighted a distinction between consensual inter-faith marriages and love jihad and said that the latter required attention,” the statement said.
As part of her visit to Mumbai, she also met a number of government officials, the NCW said.
“Our Chairperson @sharmarekha met with Bhagat Singh Koshyari, His Excellency, Governor of Maharashtra and discussed issues related to #womensafety in the state including defunct One Stop Centres, molestation and rape of women patients at #COVID centres and rise in love jihad cases,” the NCW tweeted.
However, according to a report by The Times of India Sharma cited no data to back up her claims.
She also raised the issue of the Maharashtra State Commission for Women not having a chairperson and stressed that the position be filled at the earliest to ensure complaints are addressed in a timely manner, it said. She claimed that some 4,000 complaints received by the state commission have not been attended to and redressed. Till such time that the position is filled, a member from NCW shall visit the state on a monthly basis to look into the concerns raised by the women in the state, the NCW said.
Sharma also enquired into the status of the defunct One Stop Centres and sought their immediate reopening. “Some 188 cases filed under POCSO are pending beyond the statutory three month period. This should be looked into on priority,” Sharma was quoted as saying in the statement.
However, it was Sharma’s problematic statements on ‘love jihad’ which caught the eye.
Taking to Twitter, CPI(ML) Politburo Member Kavita Krishnan was critical of Sharma, saying she had brought “shame” to the institution she was heading.
Hey @sharmarekha - what on earth is a "love jehad" case? Any case in which a Muslim man and Hindu woman are in love? How dare you remain in your chair as @NCWIndia chief & use a term that a) treats women as property of communities b) hates Muslims? You bring shame to NCW (sic),” she tweeted as part of a thread.
“Dear @sharmarekha - I have researched the so-called ‘love jehad’ claims extensively (written a whole book about it) and am yet to find a SINGLE case where such claims have been vindicated. Please tell us a single case where the ‘crime’ of ‘love jehad’ has been proved,” Krishnan added.
Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair dug up some old tweets by Sharma which can, politely, be called problematic.
There were more.
Apparently feminists and feminism are abhorrent to Sharma.
Alt News co-founder Pratik Sinha noted that Sharma has since gone on a deleting spree, and had deleted over 300 earlier tweets as of early this morning.
With inputs from PTI