<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Sunday, Shashi Tharoor, Congress MP and one of India’s most articulate orators courted trouble over a joke he made about Miss World Manushi Chhillar.Leaving aside his thesaurus-bending vocabulary, Mr Tharoor tried to make a WhatsApp joke about Manushi Chhillar, the Haryana girl who won Miss World for India 17 years after Priyanka Chopra brought home the gong.In an attempt to mock demonetization, Tharoor tweeted, repeating a joke that had been made umpteen times since Chhillar won: “What a mistake to demonetise our currency! BJP should have realised that Indian cash dominates the globe: look, even our Chhillar has become Miss World!”This joke however, seemed to rub section of Twitterati the wrong way, who felt Mr Tharoor’s joke wasn’t just a bad pun but also offensive to women, the Chhillar community and Manushi Chhillar.While the NCW took great umbrage, and summoned Mr Tharoor to the commission for his ‘derogatory and degrading tweet’, senior Haryana ministers also attacked the politician.
ALSO READ NCW summons Shashi Tharoor over his demonetization-Chhillar joke about Miss World Haryana Women and Child Development Minister Kavita Jain said Tharoor “indulged in callous and reckless wordplay on new Miss World Manushi Chhillar”. She said: “Tharoor has only exposed his own debased thinking by questioning the self-respect of our daughters, the pride of the country, and the brave community ‘Chhillar’.”Haryana Finance Minister Capt. Abhimanyu also criticised Tharoor. “A shameless comment deserves to be withdrawn and Shashi must apologise for this…Can’t believe…He can go so low…(sic)” Abhimanyu tweeted.
ALSO READ Let’s not forget the ‘chill’ within Chhillar: Miss World Manushi Chhillar reacts to Shashi Tharoor’s tweetLater, NCW Chairman Rekha Sharma seemed to rethink summoning Tharoor: “I was thinking of summoning him but he apologised in between. But his apology is not genuine as he is telling people to chill after making such remarks. He is a politician and he should talk in the interest of people instead of making fun of them.”She added: “I would request and suggest him to apologise properly to the nation because he has not hit below the belt only to the girl but the entire nation because she has brought fame and name to the nation. By summoning, I did not mean to book him or go to police but we just want him to realize what he has said was wrong.”
ALSO READ He has exposed his debased thinking: Haryana ministers attack Shashi Tharoor over demonetization-Chhillar jokeHowever, the woman at the Centre of the drama, Miss World Manushi Chhillar didn’t think there was anything wrong with the joke and was pretty ‘chill’ about it. She wrote on Twitter: “A girl who has just won the World isn’t going to be upset over a tongue-in-cheek remark. ‘Chillar’ talk is just small change – let’s not forget the ‘chill’ within Chhillar @ShashiTharoor.”Other women, including comedians also felt that Mr Tharoor’s tweet wasn’t demeaning to women or was misogynist. Comedian Kaneez Surka said it wasn’t offensive at all and was just a pun. She said: “No, it’s not offensive at all. I thought it was funny. It’s just a pun on her name. He would have made the same joke if a guy whose name was Chillar won Mr World.”Radhika Vaz echoed her fellow comedian and felt that while the joke was ‘stupid’, anyone making it about women ‘was slightly stupider’. When asked if the joke was misogynist, she said: “No I don’t, it’s clearly a joke made at the BJP. Anyone trying to make it about women is slightly stupider than the joke itself.”Women from different fields also felt that calling the joke sexist or misogynist was going too far.Surya Raghunathan, TVC jingle singer said: “I don’t think it is demeaning to women. I think it’s a plain joke on someone’s last name. People need to chill and stop taking offence to anything and everything.” Media professional Sakshita Khosla felt that Tharoor could’ve worked better on his pun game and said: “It’s not offensive at all. It’s funny. Not the most creative pun out there, but a good one.”Dr Reshma Nayak, a VP with a leading company joked that it wasn’t offensive to women but to all Chhillars. She said: “Jokes aside, it’s hard to believe that the NCW would bother themselves with cases like these.” Raashi Nahata, a freelancer working as an assistant director for various production houses in Bollywood also agreed that calling it sexist was going too far. She said: “I don’t think it was sexist at all, it was a wordplay. We really need to have an appetite for humour and not get offended at everything. It’s not like he called her “dented or painted”. The comment was meant for demonetisation and was not directed at Manushi.”So while the NCW might be angry with Mr Tharoor and consider his joke offensive, but many working professionals in Mumbai disagree with the quasi-judicial body’s outlook.
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