Rekha Sharma, the Chairperson of the National Commission for Women frequently makes headlines, weighing on on many a current issue. But over the last couple of days, it is Sharma herself who has become the subject of controversy and disgruntled social media commentary.
As netizens reacted with a furious barrage of critical comments, Sharma has locked her Twitter profile. This means that any person who is not an approved follower cannot see her posts. And while this has somewhat reduced the comments, the more enterprising Twitter users have now moved on to posting on their own profiles or leaving responses to posts shared by the NCW.
There are two factors that have prompted the online backlash. For one, Sharma had recently met with Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at the Raj Bhavan in Mumbai. And while the Governor's Twitter simply termed it a courtesy call, the NCW had tweeted photos stating that the had, among other issue, discussed 'love jihad'.
"Our Chairperson Rekha Sharma met with Shri Bhagat Singh Koshyari, His Excellency, Governor of Maharashtra and discussed issues related to women's safety in the state including defunct One Stop Centres, molestation and rape of women patients at COVID-19 centres and rise in love jihad cases," the tweet read.
And while the NCW, in a statement, said that Sharma had highlighted the distinction between a consensual inter-faith marriage and love jihad and said that the latter required attention, most on Twitter based their comments on the tweet alone.
At the same time, many of Sharma's old tweets have also resurfaced, with furious netizens calling for her arrest. Critical and at times massively problematic tweets by the NCW chief against Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Arvind Kejriwal, PM Narendra Modi and many others have surfaced on the social media platform.
And as the posts went viral, many on Twitter have lashed out at the NCW chief, calling her previous comments "beyond disgusting". The deluge of critical comments is likely to have prompted the NCW Chief to lock her account.