From Sharad Yadav to Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi: Politicians who made sexist remarks on women

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New Delhi, Mar 17: The controversy over alleged sexist remarks of Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav refuses to die down as he remains unapologetic for his comments on women's 'dark-skinned complexion'.

JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav on Thursday launched an exposition about "saanvli (dark)" south Indian women while debating the Insurance bill in Rajya Sabha. Yadav said, "The women of the south are dark but they are as beautiful as their bodies...We don't see it here. They know dance."

From 'dented-painted' to 'saanvli': How Sharad Yadav and likes dishonoured women.
Later clarifying on the same, defiant JD(U) leader had said in the Rajya Sabha, "I said 'saanvli' (dark-complexioned) women are more in number in India, they are more in number also the world over. I am ready

to debate with anyone on the struggle of (Ram Manohar) Lohia and others for these women."

This is not the first time a politician has made such sexist remarks, earlier also many politicians have made remarks which led to nationwide uproar.

Sharad Yadav had earlier also created controversy by saying while opposing the Women's Bill in the Lok Sabha, that the Bill would only benefit the well-off in the cities, describing well-off women as, "par kati auratein".


1. Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam created controversy by questioning the credentials of Irani to analyse poll results given her background as a TV actress. He told Irani, "Aap toh TV pe thumke lagati thi, aaj chunavi vishleshak ban gayi." (It's only four days of your entry into politics, till some time ago you were dancing on the TV screens and now you have become a psephologist and a political analyst.)

Nirupam had reportedly used defamatory and indecent language against Irani during a TV debate when the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh election results were pouring in.

2. Congress leader Digvijay Singh got into trouble over certain remarks that he made against his party colleague and Rahul Gandhi's close aide Meenakshi Natarajan. Digvijaya while praising the young leaders's popularity and ability to connect with the masses called her a "100 tunch maal."

He had said, "Our party MP, Meenakshi Natrajan, is a Gandhian, simple and an honest leader. She keeps going from place to place in her constituency. I am a seasoned smith of politics. Meenakshi sau tunch maal hai."

Translated from Bhojpuri, the remark roughly means '100 percent sexy woman'.

Singh also said that he knew this because ‘main purana johari hoon‘ (am an experienced jeweller).

Natarajan chose not to react to the remark and refused to comment on it.

3. President Pranab Mukherjee's son Abhijit stoked a major controversy by describing women participating in Delhi protests against gangrape of a student as 'highly dented and painted', triggering angry backlash.

"Those who are coming in the name of students in the rallies, sundori, sundori mahila (beautiful women), highly dented and painted," Abhijit Mukherjee, an MP from Jangipur seat which the President had vacated before his election, told a vernacular news channel.

As his "insensitive" remarks sparked outrage with even his sister Sharmistha expressing "utter shock and anguish" and apologising on his behalf, Abhijit "withdrew" his comments and said they were not meant to hurt "any particular section or any particular sentiment".

4. Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav had kicked up a row when he said that rural women will not benefit from the women reservation bill because they are not as attractive as those from the affluent class.

"Bade bade gharon ki ladkiya aur mahilayan kewal upar ja sakti hain...yaad rakhna...apko mauka nahi milega..hamare gaon ki mahila me akarshan itna nahin...," (Only girls and women from affluent class can go forward...remember this..you (rural women) will not get a chance...Our rural women did not have that much attraction)," he had said while addressing a rally in Barabanki.

Mulayam made the remark while claiming that if the bill is passed, women belonging to the affluent class will march ahead while those from poor background will be further pushed back.

5. Former Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal found himself at the centre of a controversy over his sexist remark that wives lose charm over time, sparking an outrage among women`s groups which dubbed the comment as "disgusting and derogatory".

When news of India`s victory over Pakistan in a ICC World Twenty20 match in Sri Lanka came in, Jaiswal, who was addressing the a kavi sammelan said that like an old victory wives lose charm as time goes by.

Observing that people became excited after India`s victory, Jaiswal said, "as time passes, the joy of the victory fades, just like a wife becomes old and loses her charm."

6. After the 26/11 attacks, senior BJP leader Muqtar Abbas Naqvi's comment against protestors had raised a storm as he had said, "Some women wearing lipstick and powder have taken to streets in Mumbai and are abusing politicians, spreading dissatisfaction against the democracy. This is what terrorists are doing in Jammu and Kashmir."

7. Madhya Pradesh Minister Kailash Vijayvargiya was at the centre of a controversy on Friday over his remark that women must not cross the Lakshman rekha to avoid unwanted consequences, prompting an embarrassed BJP to disassociate itself from the comment.

"Ek hi shabd hai - maryada. Maryada ka ulanghan hota hai, toh Sita-haran ho jata hai. Laxmanrekha har vyakti ki khichi gayi hai. Us Laxmanrekha ko koi bhi paar karega, toh Ravan samne baitha hai... woh Sita-haran karke le jayega".

"Only when Sitaji crossed the Lakshman Rekha, she was kidnapped by Ravan... If Sitaji (woman) crosses the Lakshman Rekha, then Sitaharan (abduction) is bound to take place as Ravans are out there," Mr. Vijayvargiya said, narrating an incident from the epic Ramayana while seeking to explain the reason behind the recent spate of crimes against women.

"When people cross their limits, deterioration is bound to happen. It applies to everyone in the society, men or women," the State Industries Minister added.

OneIndia News

(With inputs from agencies)

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