Why NCW chief Rekha Sharma came under Twitter fire


National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Rekha Sharma has come under fire on social media after she met Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Tuesday to discuss women safety-related issues in the state, including the rising number of sexual assault cases and also the “rising cases of love jihad”.

The official Twitter handle of the NCW India tweeted a photo of the meeting and mentioned “love jihad” as one of the issues discussed between its chairman and the Governor of Maharashtra.

 

“Our Chairperson Rekha Sharma met with Shri Bhagat Singh Koshyari, His Excellency, Governor of Maharashtra and discussed issues related to women safety in the state including defunct One Stop Centres, molestation and rape of women patients at Covid-19 centres and rise in love jihad cases,” the NCW said.

 

The tweet drew ire of social media users as the government in February told Parliament that the term ‘Love Jihad’ was not defined under the extant laws. The comment was made by junior home minister G Kishan Reddy who was answering to the question whether any of the central agencies have reported any case of love jihad from the southern state during the last two years.

“Article 25 of the Constitution provides for the freedom to profess, practice and propagate religion subject to public order, morality and health. Various courts have upheld this view including the Kerala High Court,” G Kishan Reddy had said.

Social media users dug up some old tweets of Sharma where she was seen making fun of women, politicians and women politicians. The tweets date back to 2012 to 2014, before she became NCW chairperson.

In August 2015, Rekha Sharma was appointed the NCW chief and prior to that she was the BJP district secretary and media in-charge in Haryana.

Following the Twitter outrage, Rekha Sharma has now protected her Twitter account. Her old tweets are not accessible anymore.

‘Love jihad’ is a term popularised by radical Hindu groups to describe what they believe is an organised conspiracy of Muslim men to force or trick Hindu women into conversion and marriage. The purported motives include expanding India’s Muslim population and aiding the Islamic State.





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