NCW Chief Rekha Sharma Faces Backlash Over Old Tweets

An outrage erupted after NCW tweeted that Sharma was meeting Maharashtra Governor to discuss issues like the 'rise of love jihad cases'.

The Chairperson for National Commission for Women (NCW) Rekha Sharma is currently facing major backlash on Twitter following a tweet by the NCW on Sharma meeting the Governor of Maharashtra. The tweet stated that she discussed issues related to women's safety such as 'rise in love jihad cases'.

Soon people started digging out old tweets by Sharma where she purportedly makes questionable comments in the lines of sexism and Islamophobia, along with a derogatory tweet on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress leader Sonia Gandhi and late Congress leader Mahatma Gandhi. Some others are also calling for her sacking, sending the hashtag #SackRekhaSharma as a top trend in India on Wednesday.

In response, Sharma stated that her account has been hacked, and soon locked her tweets from the public.

On Tuesday, the NCW tweeted, "Our Chairperson @sharmarekha met with Shri Bhagat Singh Koshyari, His Excellency, Governor of Maharashtra & discussed issues related to #womensafety in the state including defunct One Stop Centres, molestation & rape of women patients at #COVID centres & rise in love jihad cases."

'Love jihad' is an unfounded conspiracy theory by Hindutva groups stating Muslim men are purposefully marrying Hindu women to convert them to Islam. Earlier this year, G Kishan Reddy, the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, said in response to a parliamentary question that 'love jihad' is not defined by our current laws and that there is absolutely no data on such crime.

Soon, activists and members of opposition parties erupted with outrage against Sharma, with some calling for her sacking for alleged sexism and bigotry.

While some others started digging out her old posts (prior to her locking her account), where she allegedly makes derogatory comments on various political leaders, and some others that appear misogynistic and Islamophobic.

Who Is Rekha Sharma?

Sharma was appointed as a member of NCW in August 2015, and was made additional charge of the chairperson of the body on September 2017. In August 2018 she was finally made the chairperson of NCW.

Prior to working for the NCW, she was the district secretary and media-in-charge for the Bharatiya Janata Party's Haryana unit.

Her appointment as the chairperson quickly drew flak from women's rights activists, with some calling it a political appointment that would weaken the body.

So What Exactly Is The National Commission for Women?

The NCW is a statutory body of the Indian government that concerns with advising the administration on policies regarding women. It was conceived in January 1992 with the implementation of the 1990 National Commission for Women Act.

While the body has been formed primarily to protect the rights and interests of women in India, former chairpersons and other members of the NCW have courted controversy in the past for sexist and misogynistic remarks.

Following a case of molestation of a woman outside a pub in Guwahati in July 2012, Aam Aadmi Party leader Alka Lamba - who was then a member of the NCW's fact-finding committee, caused major outrage when she leaked the identity of the victim. She was then removed from the committee, though she continued being a member of the body.

A few days later, the then-NCW chief Mamta Sharma also drew flak after she said that women should be careful about how they dress, while referring to the Guwahati incident.

Updated On: 2020-10-21T17:14:42+05:30
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