INDIA—Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi won’t be winning any feminist awards.  Not after a gaffe in which he gave backhanded praise to the female Prime Minister of Bangladesh.

“I think what everyone is missing here,” said Modi in response to huge online backlash, “is that I gave Prime Minister Hasina a compliment.  She really is doing a great job.  Even with those huge bosoms always in her way.”

I am happy that the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, despite being a woman, is openly saying that she has zero tolerance for terrorism.

~ Narendra Modi

The misogynistic faux pas could hurt Modi’s reputation with his female constituents.  He has worked hard to cultivate a woman-positive association in the last year, paying lip service to women’s issues and promoting programs affecting India’s often subjugated segment of the population.

Last week, Modi issued a formal apology via India’s biggest newspaper, Dainik Jagran.  “I would like to emphasize what important work Prime Minister Hasina is doing in the face of terrorism.  I did not mean to insult her as a female or as head of state.  She is the right woman for the job; mature enough not to be affected by motherly constraints nor the need to worry about appearance.  Her only concern is to represent Bangladesh, which she is doing very well.”

Image Courtesy: Narendra Modi (flickr), CC-BY-SA-20

By Molly Donovan

I grew up in the USA, but don't hold that against me because I'm also Canadian. Just think of me as the mole.

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