Women Condemn Meenakshi Lekhi’s sexist slandering of Ishrat Jahan


Over 115 women signed a letter seeking apology from Ms. Meenakshi Lekhi for her sexist slandering of deceased Ishrat Jahan on a television channel. The same letter has also been sent to the Chairperson of the National Commission for Women for appropriate action.


Manisha Sethi and Mansi Sharma

As the noose is tightening around the conspirators who cynically and coldly planned and executed the killing of teenaged Ishrat Jahan and three other people in 2004, there is a concerted campaign – the final, last ditch bid to save their skins – by tarnishing the image of this college student. There have been planted stories in the media linking her to a terrorist group –all of them false and concocted, even as the Gujarat High Court has clearly said that the CBI’s mandate is to simply investigate whether Ishrat and others were killed in cold blood.

But Ms. Meenakshi Lekhi’s rantings on prime time TV touches a new low. Responding to mounting evidence of staged encounter, she asserted on Times Now TV channel that ‘here was a girl travelling with men unrelated to her’. Then she outdid herself by reiterating yesterday that since Ishrat came from a deprived background, she was a “fit case” for being a terrorist. This kind of personal slander reflects BJP’s deeply sexist and patriarchal character, besides of course communal and class prejudice. That their woman spokesperson chose to do so makes it worse. Ms. Lekhi would like us to believe that all those young women who travel and work independently are ‘suspicious’ and could have terrorist links, and are therefore fair game for encounter killings.

We condemn Ms. Lekhi’s insensitive sexist slandering of a girl who cannot defend herself, and demand an immediate apology.

1. Manisha Sethi, academic, Delhi
2. Mansi Sharma, activist, Delhi
3. Shabnam Hashmi, activist, Delhi
4. Saba Dewan, filmmaker, Delhi
5. Sanghamitra Misra, academic, Delhi
6. Mona Das, academic, Delhi
7. Sucharita Sengupta, academic, Delhi
8. Shohini Ghosh, academic and filmmaker, Delhi
9. Sabeena Gadihoke, academic, Delhi,
10. Seema Misra, Lawyer, Delhi
11. Pushpa, Writer, Bangalore
12. Uma V Chandru, Activist and academic, Bangalore
13. Neelanjana Mukhia, Activist
14. Rakhi Sehgal, activist, Delhi
15. Ramlath Kavil – Mumbai
16. Supriya Madangarli, writer, Mumbai
17. Amrita Shodhan UK
18. Geetanjali Gangoli- UK
19. Penkoottu, Kozhikode, Kerala
20. Prasanna P. R, Kochi, Kerala
21. Bitopi Dutta, researcher, Guwahati
22. Namrata Kilpadi Misra, Freelance editor and Gandhinagar
23. Ammu Abraham, feminist, Mumbai
24. Arfa Khanum Sherwani, Senior Anchor, Rajyasabha TV
25. Khadeej Arif, Journalist, London
26. Peggy Mohan, Writer, Delhi
27. Brinda Bose, academic, Delhi
28. Anurdha Chenoy, academic, Delhi
29. Ruchi Shroff, Vadodara, Gujarat
30. Sania Mariam,student ,kolkata.
31. Rohini Hensman, writer, Mumbai
32. Malini Sood, freelance editor, New Delhi
33. Bindu Menon, Academic, Delhi
34. Dr. Ayesha Sultan, Hannover Medical School, Germany
35. Teena Gill (Film maker, New Delhi)
36. Nandini Rao, Activist, Delhi
37. Rajashri Dasgupta, Journalist. Kolkata.
38. Kriti Budhiraja, JNU Delhi
39. Anuradha Bhasin, Journalist, Jammu
40. Minnie Vaid, Writer, Mumbai
41. Mamta Jaitly, activist, Jaipur
42. Renuka Pamecha, activist, Rajasthan
43. Mary Abraham, Student, Delhi
44. Kavita Srivastava, activist, Jaipur
45. Anuradha Talwar, activist, West Bengal
46. Dipa Sinha, Economist, Delhi
47. Komal Srivastava, activist, Rajasthan
48. Dr. Meeta Singh, health activist, Rajasthan
49. Nishat Hussein, activist, Rajasthan
50. Pragnya Joshi, activist, Udaipur
51. Smita Chakraburtty, Phd Scholar, Calcutta University, Kolkata
52. Sumati Pannikar, Research Fellow, JNU
53. Samreen Naaz, student, Kolkata
54. Shipra Nigam, Consultant Economist, New Delhi
55. Rizwana Akhtaree, Human Rights Defender, Bhubaneswar.
56. Tanuja Dh,
57. Meena Saraswathi Seshu, Activist
58. G. Arunima, academic, New Delhi
59. Aparna Sanyal, Film maker, New Delhi
60. Saba Hasan, Artist, New Delhi
61. Shweta Kishore, Researcher, Melbourne Australia
62. Ruchika Sharma, Academic, New Delhi
63. Irene Dhar Malik, Film Editor & writer, Mumbai
64. Shashwati Talukdar, Film maker, Dehradun
65. Monica Mody, poet and academic, San Francisco
66. Shikha Sen, Documentary Editor, New Delhi
67. Seema Duhan, Student, CA
68. Shaweta Anand, Student, Delhi
69. Laxmi Murthy, Journalist, Bangalore
70. Ammu Joseph, Journalist, Bangalore
71. Arpita Das, Delhi
72. Suma Josson, Activist, Mumbai
73. Sanam Roohi, PhD Candidate, NIAS/AISSR, Bangalore
74. Aprajita Krishna
75. Kavita Krishnan, activist, Delhi
76. Kirtana Kumar, Director, CARP/Little Jasmine/Theatre Lab
77. Sheeba Aslam Fehmi, writer and academic, Delhi
78. Shazia Nigar, journalist, Bhubhaneshwar
79. Taranga Sriraman, activist, Mumbai
80. Dr. Shelley Dahiya, New Delhi
81. Rupa Gulab, Writer, Gurgaon
82. Poornima Joshi, writer, Delhi
83. Amabrien Alqadr, Academic and filmmaker, Delhi
84. Himadri Sekhar Mistri, Research Scholar, Delhi School of Economics
85. S M M Ausaja, Film Historian, Mumbai
86. Nandini Lal, writer, Washington DC
87. Nandini Chandra, Academic, Delhi
88. Tahira Hasan, activist, Lucknow
89. Jyotsna, Journalist, Delhi.
90. Afreen Haque, Journalist, Kolkata
91. Smita Chakraburtty, Phd Scholar, Calcutta University, Kolkata. West Bengal.
92. Divya Rajagopal, journalist, Mumbai
93. Laxmi Murthy, Journalist, Bangalore
94. Rajeshwari Saroja, Academic, Mumbai
95. Jyotsna Khatri, filmmaker, Delhi
96. Snigdha Sheel, photographer, New Delhi
97. Purwa Bharadwaj, activist, Delhi
98. Nikita Agarwal, activist, Delhi
99. Ameen, Activist, New Delhi
100. Shehla Rashid, Policy Analyst, Delhi
101. Nabanipa Bhatacharya, academic, Delhi
102. Suraiya Patel, Entrepreneur, Mumbai
103. Virginia Saldanha, Activist, Mumbai
104. Dr. V. Mohini Giri, Delhi
105. Rukmini Rao, Secunderabad
106. Aashima Sharma, Student New Delhi
107. Abha Bhaiya, Delhi
108. Chinmayee Subhash
109. Vasanth Kannabiran
110. Suneeta Achutya
111. Anita Dixit, academic, Kolkata
112. Sona Mitra, Economist, Delhi
113. Shefali Sewak, Lawyer, Delhi
114. Neha Kohli, Researcher, Delhi
115. Namrata Ganneri, academic, Delhi
116. Bharati Jagannathan, academic, Delhi
117. Meera Ahmad, Academic, Delhi
118. Lesley Esteves, Journalist, Delhi



  1. juhi jain

    How do i get to sign?

  2. it shows the fascist instinct hidden inside the ideology of bjp n their shameless leaders n esply women leaders whole nation should now stand up against them shoe them their rt place so that they can’t further their facist agenda any more

  3. How do I sing the latter?

  4. Nandini Lal

    Email manishasethy@gmail.com to add your name to the list.

  5. M U Sharif

    An appropriate step

  6. Sachin Bhagat

    Pl. Count me too for signing this letter. If you have opened any online petition, pl. mail me….

  7. Why is Ishrat Jahan’s case about Modi or the BJP and not about terrorists, the misuse of religion for terrorism, the misuse of the police and the CBI for political purposes?


  8. Satavisha Bose

    Ms. Lekhi..Just because a woman is travelling with some guys..or in a bar..drinking or smoking..or even if she is a prostitute..NOBODY HAS THE RIGHT TO RAPE HER OR SHOOT HER IN A FAKE ENCOUNTER..The government should protect it’s women..no matter who she is and what she does..ofcourse in Ishrat’s case..the government masterminded the whole thing..
    Also the term ‘TERRORISM’ is highly exaggerated..if being poor and vulnerable and religious makes one a terrorist..we are talking of millions of people in India..

  9. Angeli Shenai

    It takes years and years of training to be brainwashed to be a suicide bomber. Ishrat was busy with school and never missed a day of class….so how could she have got her training to kill herself to kill someone else….she was also so beautiful and sincerely doubt she would sacrifice her youth and life and her hard work at studies just to kill someone at nineteen! This is all a cock and bull story to get the rats from Guje-RAT off the hook

  10. Yaanni K Kya

    Stop twisting what Meenakshi Lekhi had said. Do you think others do not watch NewsHour?

    For others who may not know the full detail, On 3rd July 2013 on NewHour, Vrinda Grover had made an allegation that Meenakshi Lekhi had said on other news channels that Ishrat Jahan was a girl of questionable character as she was ‘found’ with 3 men.

    Unfortunately this is a straw man tactic. Meenakshi Lekhi had not quite said what was attributed to her by Vrinda Grover. Meenakshi Lekhi then clarified that she had said that CBI should indeed investigate about the character of Ishrat Jahan as she had been found traveling with 3 men who had terror links. She said that Ishrat Jahan might have been a courier for terror groups.

    On Newshour Meenakshi Lekhi had clearly said that Ishart Jahan could have been with 20 men, that is not the point. The point is that she was in the company of someone who had terror links.

    Reg her remark on Ishrat’s character, in your eyes, if one calls the character of some person questionable then it means only one thing, right? Character isn’t one thing, it has many aspects. Honesty, loyalty, jealousy, deception are all part of the character of a person. It is along these lines that Meenakshi Lekhi had called Ishrat’s character questionable.

    Reg her remark on Ishrat’s deprived background, isn’t it true that people from the poor families are easier to fall in such traps of quick money and in brainwashing? They see themselves as victims of the selfish society and so feel detached from it and are more likely to use ‘other’ means to make money. Meenakshi Lekhi had also asked for an investigation in Ishrat’s family’s financial situation before and after she started working as it is obvious that she had terror links.

    Reg the claim made in the text of the condemnation by these few ’eminent’ people of the society, LeT itself admitted that Ishrat Jahan was their operative. No further evidence is need to prove that Ishrat Jahan was a terrorist. If you guys are really sincere then how can you ignore that evidence? If somehow LeT is dismissed as a terror outfit whose word can’t be trusted then what about the affidavit of Home Ministry of India where the ministry told the court that Ishrat Jahan was indeed a terrorist? That was not a BJP govt btw.


    • Daakusingh

      Here comes the reply of jingoist BJP supporter and possibly RSS agent who are themselves not inferior than another terrorist outfit which also got banned. And in the history of politics no other party got banned because of their terror and hate politics as RSS.
      Anyway what can expect from BJP/RSS supporter who themselves believe in what utter non-sense they says because they are trained in this way.

      For your information sir if somebody is not from privilege/rich class she/he should be declared terrorist and killed in fake encounter as per your Rambo aka Na.Mo. ideology (Mind you that Gujarat Police works under Gujarat Government and all these 22 fake encounters between 2004 till 2007 took place under his reign)

      I feel pity on you that irrespective of what honorable High/Supreme court of India says you yourself are quite capable enough to declare her as a terrorist.
      May be these are just your political party guideline as preached by your Hitler oops Rambo.

      And for your kind information no ministry told anywhere that Ishrat jahan is a terrorist. oh yes it can be possible provided you consider the so called LeT/IM or any other xyz apocryphal team/name as a part of Indian Ministry, which are themselves available at the drop of a hat with their passports and address location whenever they do any “miscreants”

      • Yaanni K Kya

        Yeh Lo, Daaku is caught lying so shamelessly here.

        About your last paragraph, pls have a look at this link:


        This link clearly mentions that in August 2009, RVS Mani, undersecretary for internal security in the Home Ministry submitted an affidavit in Gujarat High Court saying that Javed Sheikh, Amjad Ali, Zeeshan Johar and ISHRAT JAHAN had terror links.

        Specifically, this is what that affidavit says for Ishrat Jahan…

        “Javed and Ishrat were activists of terrorist organisation LeT, Neither Pillai (Javed’s father) nor Kauser (Ishrat’s mother) have chosen to disclose correct facts relating to occupation, activities and movements of Javed and Ishrat on account of the fact that both Javed and Ishrat were involved in such activities, disclosure of which would result in reflection of the bona fide of the police action against these four persons”

        Dear Daaku, next time you open your mouth here, ensure that you have fed facts to your mind.

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