NEW DELHI: National Commission for Women chairperson Rekha Sharma has been slammed from various quarters over a post about her meeting with the Maharashtra governor where she mentioned 'love jihad.'
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 pic.twitter.com/JBiFT477IU— NCW (@NCWIndia) October 20, 2020
She tweeted about her meeting with Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari where she discussed various forms of atrocities against women, including a rise in the number of 'love jihad' cases in the state.
She was slammed by various human rights and women's rights activists for raising the on-going communal tensions and misogyny.
Sharma defended herself by saying that she highlighted the distinction between consensual inter-faith marriages and "love jihad", stating that the latter required attention.
Activist Saket Gokhale wrote to WCD minister Smriti Irani saying that Sharma should be dismissed under Sec 4(3)(d) of The National Commission for Women Act, 1990.
Hi @smritiirani ji:— Saket Gokhale (@SaketGokhale) October 20, 2020
Will you be taking action against @sharmarekha & dismissing her under Sec 4(3)(d) of The National Commission for Women Act, 1990 for the communal dog whistle of “love jihad” & for her past misogynist tweets?
Or does one have to approach the courts for this?
The anger against the NCW chief also led to resurfacing of old tweets where she made sexist, ableist, and rape jokes. #SackRekhaSharma started trending on Twitter.
One more.— Saket Gokhale (@SaketGokhale) October 20, 2020
This incredibly misogynist & disgusting person is in charge of safeguarding women’s rights in India. pic.twitter.com/mzt8QYXBwz
@narendramodi will never be able to forgive @sharmarekha just like he could never, ever, never forgive @SadhviPragya_MP for insulting the Father of the Nation. 😒— Ankita (@Ankita__INC) October 21, 2020
She has been rewarded for this one tweet. pic.twitter.com/zw07w4wkn6
This #SackRekhaSharma trend is deplorable. Sharma was probably trying her hardest to obtain a sarkaari job. Which one of us hsn't buttered up a potential employer?— Santhosh D'Souza (@santhoshd) October 21, 2020
Please help her: post all screenshots of tweets she can delete at leisure behind the cloak of a protected account. pic.twitter.com/maoOFr05YC
'Love Jihad' is a term widely used by Right-Wing sections, describing Muslim men who woo and marry non-Muslim women, mostly Hindus, to get them to convert into Islam, as a process of ending the Hindu population.
Right-Wing also highlighted those cases where Hindu women were killed or tortured for refusing to convert.
However, it has become a sexist and communal attack against women's rights and minorities.
Sections of the population also demanded to reduce the marital age of women to avoid love jihad.
The minority has often been attacked or killed when it comes to inter-faith marriages.
As per the special marriage act, inter-faith marriages are legally permitted without a religious ceremony or conversion.