New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s gesture to give away his social media accounts to women was lauded Tuesday by some women activists while others termed it a ‘gimmick’ and said he should instead concentrate on their real empowerment.
Modi had earlier said in the day that he will be handing over his social media accounts to women who inspire.
Activist Monica Arora, who is the national convener of ‘Group of Intellectuals & Academicians’, called it one of the greatest gestures any one can do apart from doing ground work for them. “He has made women their spokesperson and it is a creative way to inspire them,” Arora said.
However, ‘All India Progressive Women’s Association’ secretary Kavita Krishnan called it a ‘gimmick’ and an “attempt by Modi to make himself the story again’ at a time when his government is being criticised for the Delhi riots and the citizenship law.
“It’s the women of Shaheen Bagh, activists like Sudha Bharadwaj, Gauri Lankesh who need to be the story – not Modi’s grandiose gestures. Will the woman who takes over his account finally unfollow the accounts that regularly make rape and death threats, and vile communal hashtags,” asked Krishnan.
Academician and rights activist Madhu Kishwar said Modi has made an interesting gesture and people must be very excited about it. “It is charming and cute gesture,” she said.
Shilpa Puranik, member of ‘NGO Bhartiya Srishakti’, called it a step towards women empowerment. “I appreciate his decision because it is important to create awareness on social media about women empowerment,” she said.
Ranjana Kumari, director of ‘Centre for Social Research’, also said this is a ‘gimmick when the country is going through turmoil’.
“Real empowerment will be by giving reservation to women in Parliament and that is what he should do if he wants women to be truly empowered,” said Kumari.
Vani Subramanian, a member of the women’s group ‘Saheli Trust’ pointed out that Modi is ‘playing games’ at a time when people are dying and are without shelter.
“This is not a time for drama. In his digital India, women have their own social media accounts, they do not need his social media accounts,” asserted Subramanian.
Rights activist and CPI leader Annie Raja said if the prime minister is truly concerned about women empowerment he should take steps against the rising cases of sexual harassment and abuse they face.
“He (Modi) should announce March 8 (Women’s Day) that women reservation bill has been passed. It is a distraction from talking about real issues. He should realise women would not be used,” Raja said.