Political Manifesto: Misogyny?

A list of shockingly misogynistic statements made by India’s top politicians put together by Features Editor Meghna Pant.


Mulayam Singh Yadav, Samajwadi Party Chief

“The poor fellows, three of them have been sentenced to death. Should rape cases lead to hanging? Boys are boys, they make mistakes. Two or three have been given the death sentence in Mumbai. We will try and change such laws … we will also ensure punishment of those who report false cases.”


Sakshi Maharaj, BJP MP

“Every Hindu woman should have four children to keep the group’s numbers dominant.”


Mohan Bhagwat, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Chief

“Such crimes [rapes] hardly take place in Bharat, but they frequently occur in India.”


Botsa Satyanarayana, Congress Chief (Andhra Pradesh) 

“Just because India achieved freedom at midnight does not mean that women can venture out after dark. They should ensure that they do not board buses with few passengers. Though the incident [Delhi gang-rape] was condemnable, she should also have behaved keeping in mind the situation. The woman should have thought twice before boarding the suspicious private bus that night. Although it was a minor incident, Soniaji made it a point to meet the protesters when they called on her.”


Sharad Yadav, senior MP

“South Indian women are beautiful and so are their bodies … women in our parts [North India] are not so [beautiful]. They also know how to dance.”


Abhijit Mukherjee, Congress MP and President’s son

“Dented-painted women protesters in Delhi went to discotheques and then turned up at India Gate to express outrage.”


Sanjay Nirupam, Congress MP, to Smriti Irani, BJP MP

“It’s only four days of your entry into politics and you have become a political analyst. You were shaking your hips on TV, and now you have become a psephologist.”


Mulayam Singh Yadav, Samajwadi Party Chief

“Only women from the affluent classes can get ahead in life, but remember you rural women will never get a chance because you are not that attractive.”


Om Prakash Chautala, Indian National Lok Dal 

“We should learn from the past, especially in the Mughal era, people used to marry their girls to save them from Mughal atrocities and currently a similar situation is arising in the state.”


Sushil Kumar Shinde, ex-Minister of Home Affairs, to Jaya Bachchan, Samajwadi Party MP

“Listen carefully sister, this is a serious matter. This is not a filmy subject.”


Muqtar Abbas Naqvi, BJP leader

“Some women wearing lipstick and powder have taken to the streets in Mumbai (after the 26/11 attacks) and are abusing politicians democracy. This is what terrorists are doing in Kashmir.”


Digvijaya Singh, Congress leader

“Arvind Kejriwal is like Rakhi Sawant. They both try and expose but with no substance.”


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