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BJP karyakarta, Modi devotee, anti-’love jihad’ proponent, anti-feminist: Who is the real Rekha Sharma?

National Commission for Women head, was called out for her communal, patriarchal comments, now says ‘unauthorised tweets’ were made from her account

Karuna John 21 Oct 2020

NCW
Unmasked: Rekha Sharma met Governor BS Koshiyari to discuss 'love jihad'

 

When she was appointed the National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson in 2018, Rekha Sharma, was one in a long list of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers and politicians to bag important posts in such commissions. A little before her appointment Sharma was embroiled in a controversy after she recommended abolishing the religious "confessions" in churches. According to an NDTV report, Sharma believed that  as it can lead to blackmailing of women, after such a case came to light in Kerala. She was then a member of the Commission and held the additional charge of chairperson after Lalitha Kumaramangalam demitted office in September 2017.

Sharma who hails from Haryana had been appointed to the National Commission for Women (NCW) in August 2015, and before that was an active BJP politician, who had been awarded with the post of  district secretary and BJP media in-charge in Haryana. She was also a Member of the District Consumer & Redressal Forum in the Government of Haryana. The consistent party work paid off and she bagged the NCW appointment soon after the first Narendra Modi government took over.

However, after that first major controversy, that exposed her ‘working style’ to the public at large, the BJP-led union government had reportedly distanced itself over her proposal to “abolish confessions in churches”. Union minister Alphons Kannanthanam, had then said  that the Centre had “no connection with the stand taken by Sharma". Sharma is now the NCW chairman, and as irony will have it, KJ Alphons is no longer a minister. 

While Sharma has never hidden her admiration bordering on devotion for the Prime Minister, and has claimed she has  worked ‘closely’ with Narendra Modi between 1996 and 1998 and that she had learnt a lot from him the PM has not publicly acknowledged that. 

A day ago, Sharma was in full form again, talking about the bogey of “love Jihad’ a communal term used by trolls who attack Hindu-Muslim couple, esecially where the male partner is a Muslim. Haryana, in fact has local, usually, all male community juries called ‘khap panchayat’ who often announce punishments for such couples. However the NCW is a body that is mandated to protect the rights of women in India, and that its chairperson even used this term, and shared it officially on social media needs to be investigated.

The fact that she ‘discussed’ it with BS Koshiyari, the governor of Maharashtra adds to the concerns raised by civil society. Sharma was on a three-day visit to Mumbai to review the implementation of schemes meant for women, but instead decided to discuss “the rise in love jihad” cases in Maharashtra with governor Koshyari. According to a news report in The Times of India, Sharma made “a distinction between consensual inter-faith marriages and love jihad, Sharma said the latter required attention. She, however, did not provide any data to show the rise in love jihad complaints in the state.” She then retweeted the NCW handles post about the meeting and said that they “discussed issues related to women safety in the state, including defunct onestop centres, molestation and rape of women patients at Covid care centres and the rise in love jihad cases”. 

 

 

One of the first to call her out was CPIML polit bureau member Kavita Krishnan who challenged her “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”

 

 

After NCW chief refused to take down her claims of a ‘rise in love jihad’ in Maharashtra, more social media users questioned her, corrected her and asked for facts. Soon many began showing her the past communal views she had proudly shared on social media. Rekha Sharma, quickly locked her profile and “protected” her tweets, and later claimed that some “unauthorised” tweets had been made from her account. “I have protected my tweets since last evening after receiving a message from Twitter that suspicious activity was detected on my account. My profile was also blocked… I have reached out to the platform to investigate some unauthorized tweets made from my account. The investigations are on and I hope some resolution can be found.”

https://twitter.com/sharmarekha/status/1318797126285996033

However the ‘tweets’ that have rattled her are from as far back as 2013, where she aired communal, and patriarchal opinions, trolled Sonia Gandhi, and added fuel to the general divisive trolling online, and unexpectedly even made some tweets against the PM who she claimed to be close to.

 

 

However no one seems to be buying her claims of ‘unauthorised tweets' etc and have called for her sacking as NCW chief. Interestingly hundreds of offensive tweets have also been deleted from her account overnight. Apart from deleting her old tweets faster than she posted them, Sharma also claimed she did not use Twitter before 2012. However, she has been on the platform since 2009. The NCW chief has now protected her Twitter handle, even though screenshots of her tweets are doing rounds on social media. 

 

 

However that has just added to the demands that she be sacked from her current post.

 

 

Some have begun pointed out that it was her social media activity that got her the top job in the first place:

 

 

While Sharma has not denied the offensive tweets were made from her account. Her most recent tweets before her ‘love jihad’ claim, have just been regular, including live tweeting the Prime Minister’s recent Covid related address to the nation. Nevertheless she has locked her profile, and by some strange coincidence the NCW website too seems to have crashed. Perhaps citizens were thronging it to officially lodge a complaint against its own chairperson.

 

BJP karyakarta, Modi devotee, anti-’love jihad’ proponent, anti-feminist: Who is the real Rekha Sharma?

National Commission for Women head, was called out for her communal, patriarchal comments, now says ‘unauthorised tweets’ were made from her account

NCW
Unmasked: Rekha Sharma met Governor BS Koshiyari to discuss 'love jihad'

 

When she was appointed the National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson in 2018, Rekha Sharma, was one in a long list of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers and politicians to bag important posts in such commissions. A little before her appointment Sharma was embroiled in a controversy after she recommended abolishing the religious "confessions" in churches. According to an NDTV report, Sharma believed that  as it can lead to blackmailing of women, after such a case came to light in Kerala. She was then a member of the Commission and held the additional charge of chairperson after Lalitha Kumaramangalam demitted office in September 2017.

Sharma who hails from Haryana had been appointed to the National Commission for Women (NCW) in August 2015, and before that was an active BJP politician, who had been awarded with the post of  district secretary and BJP media in-charge in Haryana. She was also a Member of the District Consumer & Redressal Forum in the Government of Haryana. The consistent party work paid off and she bagged the NCW appointment soon after the first Narendra Modi government took over.

However, after that first major controversy, that exposed her ‘working style’ to the public at large, the BJP-led union government had reportedly distanced itself over her proposal to “abolish confessions in churches”. Union minister Alphons Kannanthanam, had then said  that the Centre had “no connection with the stand taken by Sharma". Sharma is now the NCW chairman, and as irony will have it, KJ Alphons is no longer a minister. 

While Sharma has never hidden her admiration bordering on devotion for the Prime Minister, and has claimed she has  worked ‘closely’ with Narendra Modi between 1996 and 1998 and that she had learnt a lot from him the PM has not publicly acknowledged that. 

A day ago, Sharma was in full form again, talking about the bogey of “love Jihad’ a communal term used by trolls who attack Hindu-Muslim couple, esecially where the male partner is a Muslim. Haryana, in fact has local, usually, all male community juries called ‘khap panchayat’ who often announce punishments for such couples. However the NCW is a body that is mandated to protect the rights of women in India, and that its chairperson even used this term, and shared it officially on social media needs to be investigated.

The fact that she ‘discussed’ it with BS Koshiyari, the governor of Maharashtra adds to the concerns raised by civil society. Sharma was on a three-day visit to Mumbai to review the implementation of schemes meant for women, but instead decided to discuss “the rise in love jihad” cases in Maharashtra with governor Koshyari. According to a news report in The Times of India, Sharma made “a distinction between consensual inter-faith marriages and love jihad, Sharma said the latter required attention. She, however, did not provide any data to show the rise in love jihad complaints in the state.” She then retweeted the NCW handles post about the meeting and said that they “discussed issues related to women safety in the state, including defunct onestop centres, molestation and rape of women patients at Covid care centres and the rise in love jihad cases”. 

 

 

One of the first to call her out was CPIML polit bureau member Kavita Krishnan who challenged her “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”

 

 

After NCW chief refused to take down her claims of a ‘rise in love jihad’ in Maharashtra, more social media users questioned her, corrected her and asked for facts. Soon many began showing her the past communal views she had proudly shared on social media. Rekha Sharma, quickly locked her profile and “protected” her tweets, and later claimed that some “unauthorised” tweets had been made from her account. “I have protected my tweets since last evening after receiving a message from Twitter that suspicious activity was detected on my account. My profile was also blocked… I have reached out to the platform to investigate some unauthorized tweets made from my account. The investigations are on and I hope some resolution can be found.”

https://twitter.com/sharmarekha/status/1318797126285996033

However the ‘tweets’ that have rattled her are from as far back as 2013, where she aired communal, and patriarchal opinions, trolled Sonia Gandhi, and added fuel to the general divisive trolling online, and unexpectedly even made some tweets against the PM who she claimed to be close to.

 

 

However no one seems to be buying her claims of ‘unauthorised tweets' etc and have called for her sacking as NCW chief. Interestingly hundreds of offensive tweets have also been deleted from her account overnight. Apart from deleting her old tweets faster than she posted them, Sharma also claimed she did not use Twitter before 2012. However, she has been on the platform since 2009. The NCW chief has now protected her Twitter handle, even though screenshots of her tweets are doing rounds on social media. 

 

 

However that has just added to the demands that she be sacked from her current post.

 

 

Some have begun pointed out that it was her social media activity that got her the top job in the first place:

 

 

While Sharma has not denied the offensive tweets were made from her account. Her most recent tweets before her ‘love jihad’ claim, have just been regular, including live tweeting the Prime Minister’s recent Covid related address to the nation. Nevertheless she has locked her profile, and by some strange coincidence the NCW website too seems to have crashed. Perhaps citizens were thronging it to officially lodge a complaint against its own chairperson.

 

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