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



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