This past few weeks, we've seen many women in the public eye trolled for personal choices like their attire.
A few days ago, on Indian TV chat show The Urban Debate on Mirror Now, anchor Faye D'Souza was hosting an episode on this subject when a cleric tried to shame her for her suggestion that men and women should have the same freedoms.
The cleric named Maulana Yasoob Abbas said to D'Souza, “Underwear pehanke [aap debate mein] aiye. Mard aur aurat barabar hojayege na." [Come to this debate dressed in your underwear. Then there will be equality between men and women.]
The comment made by Maulana Abbas was low on intellectual value and D'Souza could have chosen to ignore it. But she decided to use her airtime to point out the root of problematic statements like his.
"Maulana Ji threatened me to show up at my workplace wearing underwear because I want to be equal to men. He hopes that he will rile me up, that I will throw a fit and I will lose control of my panel and I will forget how to do my job," she began.
"Aap jese mainay bohot dekhay hai. [I've seen a lot like you.] I'm not afraid of you or threatened by you or rattled by you. Because you threatened me with something so cheap, you tried to rattle when I'm doing my job... all you men think that if you rattle [Fatima Sana] when she's doing her job, when you rattle Sania Mirza when she's doing her job, if you rattle all women when they're doing their jobs, they will run back into their kitchens, cover themselves up, and leave the world again for you to conquer. I have news for you, we are not going anywhere," D'Souza said.
"All you men think that if you rattle [Fatima Sana] or Sania Mirza when they're doing their job, if you rattle all women when they're doing their jobs, they will run back into their kitchens, cover themselves up, and leave the world again for you to conquer. I have news for you, we are not going anywhere."
"I stand by [Fatima Sana] and Priyanka Chopra and what they've chosen to wear. Because it is our choice and we will make that choice on a daily basis," she added.
"You, unfortunately, are deeply respected by an entire community of people who think you're right. and the reason why we have this show is to display to people that this kind of thought is derogatory and offensive to women and we will have none of it," she concluded.
D'Souza's clapback was hailed by many viewers, though some pointed out that clerics like Maulana Abbas shouldn't be given a platform at all. Although Maulana Abbas may find many in the audience who agree with him, his views are not representative of the entire Muslim community in India or beyond.
Watch the full video here.