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Smriti Irani condemns sexual innuendos directed at Saina Nehwal, asks if ‘women get explicitly objectified only through one app?’

"Ms Nehwal had a point of view. But she was demeaned and objectified. Should such men be brought to justice as well?” Smriti Irani was quoted as saying at the event organised by The Indian Express.

Union Minister Smriti Irani has spoken up about harassment and targeting of ace badminton player Saina Nehwal for merely expressing her support for Prime Minister over the security breach in Punjab. Saina was subjected to sexual innuendos by a Bollywood entertainer known as Siddharth.

Speaking to Anant Goenka, Executive Director, The Indian Express Group, and Vandita Mishra, National Opinion Editor, The Indian Express on the e-Adda programme, by the media outlet, the union minister pointed out the incident while talking about the broader issue of women being denied dignity on social media.

She pointed to a tweet on January 6 by film actor Siddharth who made “derogatory remarks’’ against badminton champion Saina Nehwal after she tweeted her support to Prime Minister Narendra Modi following the security breach during his visit to Punjab. The National Commission for Women has since taken cognizance of the actor’s tweet and has written to the Maharashtra DGP to investigate the matter, as well as to Twitter India.

“Do women get explicitly objectified only through one app? No. As I came to this conversation, I had a world champion, Ms Nehwal, who was demeaned for her political position, no less by a so-called popular actor, a man who would have known better. We need to look at this issue holistically. Are only the men who are caught the ones we need to be concerned about? Or, those who deny a woman the right to speak?… Ms Nehwal had a point of view. But she was demeaned and objectified. Should such men be brought to justice as well?” Smriti Irani was quoted as saying at the event organised by The Indian Express.

When asked about the current targeting of Muslim women in the ‘Bulli Bai’ app case, the union minister also expressed concern about the abuse encountered by Saina Nehwal, one of India’s most accomplished and recognised women, on social media.

Smriti Irani herself is a victim of sexual innuendoes on social media

It may be noted that Smriti Irani herself has been a victim of abuse and sexual innuendoes on social media multiple times. Last year, on May 15, the Uttar Pradesh unit of the Aam Aadmi Party had posted a misogynistic tweet attacking the Union Minister. Through its official Twitter account, the Uttar Pradesh Aam Aadmi Party insinuated that Smriti Irani has an illicit relationship with PM Modi, innuendos which her detractors have often used while making sexist attacks against her.

In 2019, a Congress hardcore supporter on Twitter tweeted sexist, misogynist abuses to Union Minister Smriti Irani demanding that she condemns the horrific gang rape and murder of 27-year-old Dr Preeti Reddy (name changed) in Hyderabad.  He had referred to Irani as ‘Nachaniya’ (one who earns living by dancing) who does ‘Mujra for Ranga and Billa’.

In the past, many Congress supporters have even brought in Smriti Irani’s early career as a successful model and actress and designed their sexual inuendoes around her personal life and career.

Actor Siddharth hurls crass sexual comments at Badminton champion Saina Nehwal

Earlier on January 6, Tamil actor Siddharth attacked ace Badminton player Saina Nehwal with a crass, sexually derogatory comment. The actor had shamelessly twisted the badminton term ‘shuttlecock’ to insult Saina in a crass, sexual manner. “Subtle cock champion of the world… Thank God we have protectors of India. Shame on you #Rihanna,” the actor had Tweeted after Saina condemned the security lapse in Punjab during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Ferozepur.

The Tamil actor’s obscene remark drew the wrath of a number of social media users, including politicians and celebrities, who chastised him for using such demeaning language to criticise Saina, one of India’s most accomplished and successful women.

Taking serious note of the offence, NCW has written to DGP Maharashtra to investigate the matter and demanded an FIR to be registered against the actor. NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma on Monday wrote to the Resident Grievance Officer, Twitter India to immediately block the actor’s account.

The National Commission for Women (NCW) has also sent the actor a notice over the tweet. 

However, unfazed by the severe criticisms he has been receiving from various quarters for attacking ace Badminton player Saina Nehwal with a crass, sexually derogatory comment, Tamil actor Siddharth posted another Tweet defending his remarks on Twitter.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
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