Many Indians woke up Monday to a surge of outrage on Twitter and Facebook against their Prime Minister Narendra Modi, reports the Washington Post. It revolved around the words “DespiteBeingAWoman.” The hashtag #DespiteBeingAWoman was triggered by Modi’s praise for his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina on Sunday during his visit. “I am happy that Bangladesh Prime Minister, despite being a woman, has declared zero tolerance for terrorism,” Modi said in a speech on Sunday at the Dhaka University.
It is not uncommon for Indian politicians — and Modi’s colleagues in his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party — to make sexist and misogynist remarks. But since he was elected to the nation’s highest post a year ago, Modi has carefully constructed a pro-woman image. During the Independence Day speech last year, he spoke about rising sexual assaults on women and blamed Indian parents for not raising their sons well.