Renuka Chowdhury
Renuka Chowdhury | Facebook
Text Size:

All the male MPs and ministers of the BJP were seen laughing and clapping as the PM took a jibe at former union minister Renuka Chowdhary.

New Delhi: Coming out in strong defence of former union minister Renuka Chowdhury, women leaders of the Congress party have lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for mocking Chowdhury in the Rajya Sabha Wednesday for laughing loudly during his remarks on Aadhaar.

Sabhapati ji meri aapse vinti hai Renuka ji ko kuch mat kahiye. Ramayan serial ke baad aisi hansi sunne ka saubhagya aaj jaake mila hai. (Chairman sir, I request you to not say anything to Renukaji. After the Ramayan serial, we have got the fortune of hearing this kind of laughter today),” the PM had said.

Hours later, Amit Malviya, who heads the BJP’s IT cell, tweeted a video of Surpnakha, a demon in the Ramayana, comparing Chowdhary’s laughter to hers.

While BJP MP Poonam Mahajan said she was not quite sure of what happened in the Rajya Sabha, and that she does not know why Chowdhury was laughing “so loudly,” Congress leaders who spoke to ThePrint came down heavily on the PM for what they described as his “regressive mindset”.

Calling the PM’s comment a “cheap” and “sexist” one, Congress MP Sushmita Dev said, “The Prime Minister has a psychological block in understanding the role of women in Indian society since he has abandoned his own mother and his own wife.”

Recalling other instances where the Prime Minister has been accused of making sexist comments, like calling Congress MP Shashi Tharoor’s late wife Sunanda Tharoor a “50-crore-rupee girlfriend”, Dev said his comments are akin to “cat calls on a street”.

Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi too strongly defended Chowdhary arguing that “As a woman, I have a massive problem when another woman is addressed in this manner.”

“It is highly unbecoming of the PM of the country to speak this way, especially when he talks so big on women empowerment,” she added.

In what was a rather telling spectacle, all the male MPs and ministers of the BJP were seen laughing and clapping as the PM took a jibe at Chowdhary, while defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman was seen sitting quietly.

“Nirmala Sitharaman did not laugh at all…But what does it say about all the men who were clapping loudly,” asked Chaturvedi. “What message goes to the youth when the PM and ministers pull down an empowered woman like Ms. Renuka Chowdhary just for laughing?”

Senior Congress leader and former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit was, however, relatively measured in calling the jibe a sexist one. “It is not the kind of language which behoves the PM of a country,” she said.

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it

India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.

But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.

ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.

Support Our Journalism



  1. How is women’s respect came into the picture? I thought people were fighting for equal rights. Be it modi or anyone in Parliament, they insulin and joke about each other then what’s the point of rising up when one of them was women!!

  2. Congress does not need anyone to go down. We have seen her in debates where she does this to counter a debate. Dont wear women hat when you were in trouble because of your wrongdoings.

  3. More than Ms Chowdhry the PM had the responsibility for not reacting the way he did. It was shameful & is also condemnable to seem MP from the BJP were found clapping & thumping desks at the despicable remarks of the PM. The dignity & gravitas associated with the office of the PM has been seriously compromised

  4. It means , “What you do is what you get”. When a PM speaks and she laughs to humiliate , then she will get laughed.

  5. Cheap comments from PM is not expected to the people of India & this is not the first time.
    The comments in the House is beyond etiquette.

    • Mr. Have you heard that thundering voice of her laughter? Was that all within the etiquette? How about congress leaders labeling prime minister Ravan on numerous occasions? And if Renukaji cannot handle that wit and you are so fragile, she should be really ashamed of herself playing a victim card.

  6. The only lesson feminists taught me that women are weak and fragile and therefore any or everything can hurt their sensibilities.

    I always thought that women can accomplish a lot but I was wrong. Women need to be wrapped in bubble wrap with a couch nearby to faint on.

Comments are closed.