The Hindu has been forced to shut down after a blog post calling for an end to “misogyny” against women, was shared more than 4,000 times on social media.
In the post, a founder of a new non-profit called Women of Courage and an activist who had been instrumental in the campaign to fight rape and sexual assault on women in India, wrote: “If there is a time to take back our women’s right to autonomy, it’s now.
It’s time for the entire feminist movement to unite in our fight for equal rights for all.”
The post was shared on Monday and was shared almost a million times.
A senior executive of the organisation told The Hindu that the post was not written in a vacuum.
“It was not a ‘post from the heart’ in the sense of the phrase ‘I am a woman and I want my voice heard’,” she said.
“We had been working for years on this issue.
We were part of the movement, we worked with many organisations.
We had to take it to a larger scale.””
This post was written by a woman,” she said, referring to the founder of the new organisation.
“And the only way this can be corrected is for the whole movement to come together.”
The post has triggered an online backlash, with women’s advocates and activists from across the country condemning it as misogynistic and offensive.
“We will not allow women to be raped.
We will not tolerate violence towards women.
We have already started.
We are not stopping.
Our fight is not over,” tweeted social activist and founder of Women of Justice, Sanjeev Dhillon.”
It’s not even the first time that a woman has spoken out in a sexist way about women’s issues, it is the first one that has been called out as misogynist,” he said.
“We have had a huge number of people from all over the world who are taking the opportunity to call this out on social networks and write to us, saying that this is not acceptable,” he added.
In response, the organisation on Monday announced that it had removed the post from its website and will “make an apology for the harm we have caused”.
“We apologise for this mistake and want to set the record straight,” it said in a statement on Monday.
“As an organisation, we have a long history of being vocal on issues of gender inequality and injustice.
This has not been something we were prepared to do at this time, and we sincerely regret that.”
The Women of Freedom campaign was launched in February 2017 and aims to end gender-based violence against women in Indian society.
In its statement on Sunday, the campaign claimed that women’s voices have been silenced because of fear of retaliation.
The women’s activist said: “There is no room for any kind of impunity for perpetrators.
We cannot be silent for anyone and we cannot be intimidated.
We must act, we must speak out, and not let silence hold us back from making a difference.””
Women have to do their part to fight back.
We want the entire movement to work together,” she added.