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No Fear No Favour

BJP MP Poonam Mahajan was sexually harassed

Sexual harassment is not new to women. BJP MP from Mumbai North, Poonam Mahajan, said on Sunday that every Indian woman, including herself, has faced sexual harassment at some stage. Speaking at The Red Brick Summit at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM-A), she said that self-pity should not be the response to such experiences.

“I used to take a train to my classes in Versova from Worli, I could not afford to travel by car at the time. But I did not feel self-pity that someone was looking at me in a disagreeable way. Every woman on this planet, especially in India, has faced that.” She went to say: “Every Indian woman has had remarks passed about her or has been touched inappropriately.” Mahajan was speaking on the theme ‘Breaking the Glass-Ceiling’.

Mahajan, the president of the Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha, later said: “Men can afford mediocrity in politics but women cannot.” She said that mediocrity does not suit women. “We need strength and we have shown that,” said Mahajan, the daughter of the late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan.

“We connect goddesses to every aspect of life. In some respects, we are ahead of America,” she said. “They do not have a woman president. But in India, women have assumed the role of President, Prime Minister, defence minister, and chief ministers. These leaders have broken the glass ceiling. It is up to us to continue that tradition. It is up to us not to harbour self-pity. If someone harasses you, slap him and don’t think why he did that.”

Mahajan said that IIMs demonstrate diversity with women students. She said that 20% of faculty members are women. Taking a potshot at Hindi serials, she said they spoiled women’s image.

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