“How dare you remain in your chair?”: India’s women’s body chief Rekha Sharma locks Twitter account after activists dig out old misogynistic tweets; discusses ‘love jihad’ with Governor Koshyari


India’s National Commission for Women chief Rekha Sharma is facing widespread condemnation for meeting Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to discuss women’s safety and ‘love jihad,’ a term used by Hindutva bigots to refer to inter-faith marriages where brides are Hindu and grooms Muslim. The controversial NCW chief was forced to lock her Twitter account after activists dug out old misogynistic and seemingly obnoxious tweets posted by her.

Sharing a photo of Sharma and Koshyari, the official Twitter handle of the NCW wrote, “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.”

The NCW tweet evoked a wave of condemnation with many questioning if Sharma ought to remain in her constitutional post after endorsing a communal terminology. Activist Kavita Krishnan tweeted, “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.”

RTI activist Saket Gokhale tweeted, “Chairperson of @NCWIndia & the Maharashtra Governor discussed “rising love jihad”.
Any more evidence needed that @sharmarekha is a BJP worker & that’s why she’s protecting BJP’s Amit Malviya from prosecution?
U r going to have to legally answer for this toxic agenda @NCWIndia.”

Gokhale also dug out old tweets of Rekha Sharma, who had allegedly posted some obnoxious and misogynistic tweets targeting the critics of the BJP.

Demanding Rekha Sharma’s resignation, journalist Anna MM Vetticad wrote, “Excuse me, @sharmarekha, are you giving official sanction to that obnoxious term #lovejihad? Stop treating women like the property of their communities. Stop denying women the right to choose their partners. Stop infantilising women. #RekhaSharmaMustResign.”

Koshyari was recently in the news after he was caught mocking secularism in his letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.