Hitting back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his “Ramayana” jibe at her in Parliament, Congress MP Renuka Chowdhury on Sunday said there was no GST on laughter and that she did not need anyone’s permission to laugh. She also said that Modi’s remarks against her showed his mindset towards women.
The former Union minister said she received a huge support from women across the country after Modi’s remarks over her laughter. “There were hashtags like #Laugh like Surpankha, #Lol is a passe and #Laugh Like Renuka Chowdhury.
“I am a five-time MP and the prime minister draws a parallel of me with a negative character. But he forgets that the women today have changed and they know how to speak for themselves. This shows his mindset towards women,” she told reporters.
Chowdhury was speaking to the media on the sidelines of the “Difficult Dialogues” conference on gender here. The MP said people’s support had been her base throughout her public life. “If you are right, it resonates all over. That’s what is happening now…There is no rule on how and when. You laugh…and there is no GST on laughter. I don’t require permission to laugh after being a five-time MP. I have shattered the myth of being stereotyped,” she added.
On a lighter note, Chowdhury said her laughter had always been spontaneous but now, she had become conscious about it. “I had challenged the authority with my laughter. Parliament makes laws, but we need to educate the lawmakers on how to treat women as their equals and that they are here in their own rights. Parliament is a reflection of what our society is,” she said.
Chowdhury added that she had challenged the authorities years ago by performing her father’s last rites.“My father had raised me as a citizen of this country and not as a boy or a girl,” she said. Last week, the prime minister had taken a dig at Chowdhury in the Rajya Sabha, saying her laughter reminded him of television serial “Ramayana”.
As Chowdhury laughed loudly during the prime minister’s speech, prompting Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu to chide her, Modi had urged Naidu not to act against her as he had the privilege of hearing such a laughter after the popular television serial, which was first aired in the 80s.