Modi draws flak for ‘despite being a woman’ comment about Bangladeshi PM

By AFP
Published: June 8, 2015
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PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

MUMBAI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sparked outrage after he praised his Bangladeshi counterpart for her courage to fight terrorism “despite being a woman”.

Triggering an avalanche of criticism on Twitter, #DespiteBeingAWoman soon became one of the top trends on the micro-blogging site on Monday, with users kept expressing anger at what they said was a bigoted and sexist remark. Those who criticized also posted pictures of famous female scientists, politicians and athletes.
Read: India, Bangladesh seal border pact as Modi visits

Modi, who was on a two-day official visit to neighboring Bangladesh, on Sunday told an audience at Dhaka University that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina showed that she was committed to ending terrorism which had plagued both South Asian nations.

“The world has still not found a solution on how to tackle terrorism. Even the United Nations (UN) is not in a position to provide guidance,” Modi said. “I am happy that the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, despite being a woman, is openly saying that she has zero tolerance for terrorism. I would like to congratulate Sheikh Hasina for her courage to deal with terrorism with zero tolerance,” he added.

Twitter users went into frenzy early on Monday as Modi’s comments were picked up by local media, with many taking pot-shots at the Indian leader’s remark.

Some users chose sarcasm to make their point.

Users also posted images of successful women – from former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, to civil rights campaigner Rosa Parks and education activist Malala Yousafzai to physicist Marie Curie – under the hashtag #DespiteBeingAWoman.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • Rumormonger
    Jun 8, 2015 - 4:52PM

    What can you expect from a person who has disowned his wife for years….Recommend

  • lkhan
    Jun 8, 2015 - 5:19PM

    What a halfwit…Recommend

  • javed
    Jun 8, 2015 - 6:19PM

    “despite being a woman” is nothing just another hype to criticize narendra modi, just look at the past culture of india, pakistan and Bangladesh. women’s are not treated with equal rights, he is saying something else and people taking it another way. Recommend

  • nirmal
    Jun 8, 2015 - 7:19PM

    Dont take him that serious
    He is listed as one of the top 10 criminalsRecommend

  • Ibrar
    Jun 8, 2015 - 8:52PM

    @javed:
    He may have said something in context of South Asian culture as you point out but should he have really said what he did? When talking at the international stage you expect a prime minister to do better than that. I am afraid he has to go long way before acquiring maturity expected of a leader. Unfortunately it seems his advisors are either afraid of him or they too are devoid of any aesthetics.Recommend

  • Czar of Subcontinent
    Jun 8, 2015 - 9:48PM

    Failed to understand what kind of terrorism Mr Modi and Miss Sheikh Haseena is fighting? Both are praising each other for fight against terrorism, without having a clue what the heck they are fighting for?Recommend

  • Sahil
    Jun 8, 2015 - 10:03PM

    @nirmal:
    He may be listed as a criminal in Google (mistakes happen), but is respected all over the world. Every country of significance laid a red carpet world for him. Who cares for your country and PM????Recommend

  • Raj - USA
    Jun 8, 2015 - 10:45PM

    I agree Modi made a mistake and should have ben careful. However, Modi only emphasized the fact that woman still face lots of hurdles in that region. I am also sure that most woman, including Sheikh Hasina will not take it negatively. Nawaz Sharif also mentions “Deharti Aurat”. At times, woman in that region themselves taunt men by saying “Choodian pehan rakha hai”. Recommend

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