Modi's Comments Create Outrage On Social Media, Trend As #despitebeingawoman

08/06/2015 8:14 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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MUNIR UZ ZAMAN via Getty Images
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) shakes hand with Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajid (R) after their meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Dhaka on June 6, 2015. Bangladesh and India on June 6 sealed a historic land pact to swap territories, which will finally allow tens of thousands of people living in border enclaves to choose their nationality after decades of stateless limbo. AFP PHOTO/ Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has landed in a controversy after his comments intended to praise Bangladesh premier Sheikh Hasina were interpreted as sexist and chauvinistic, and became an outrage on Twitter.

“I am happy to say that the prime minister of Bangladesh, despite being a woman, is saying boldly that she has zero tolerance toward terrorism," Modi said, at an event at the University of Dhaka, one of the nation's top educational institutions.

He spoke in Hindi, but it was soon all over Twitter, where users took exception to it and tweeted with the hastag #Despitebeingawoman. The opposition Congress party's spokesman Sanjay Jha was among the first to jump in.

Modi's record in India is better. He has pushed through programmes to combat female foeticide, raise educational opportunities for girls, and encouraged higher employment for women. But when it comes to his wife, to whom he was married as a youngster and left shortly thereafter, there is barely any acknowledgement, a fact that also came to the fore today. He had left out her name in successive election affidavits until last year, when he admitted to being married under oath.

Here are more tweets with the #despitebeingawoman hashtag.

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