United Nations Population Fund chief Farah Usmani on Saturday shared a picture of an Indian woman playing Holi on Facebook, showcasing it as an incident of a woman being forced to play Holi against her will.
“Do you think this person is willingly playing Holi? Why are her hands being held back? Where is her expression of enjoyment? Who is really having fun?” wrote Usmani in the post.
She further added, “Do not be afraid to express yourself when you don’t like any action and ensure that your wish is respected.”
The woman whose photo was used by Usmani took to Twitter to highlight the fact that the photo was of her playing Holi with her brothers which was misrepresented by Usmani as an example of coercion.
Usmani later deleted the post without apologising, calling it “not personal” and that identity couldn’t be deciphered in the photograph.
Usmani replied to the woman, saying, “The point being made was generic through questions only. Many women and girls have difficulty in saying no to many advances that they don’t like. There are many many instances in many circumstances. I receive issues and information that women/girls feel strongly about to advocate for them. There was no intention to offend anyone and hence I have removed the post.”
Usmani’s actions were slammed on social media as Hinduphobic. The fact that she never apologised and instead virtue-signalled about advocating “woman’s issues” in a “generic post” drew a lot of flak. Twitterati also cast aspersions at United Nations for hiring someone with bigoted views about Hinduism.
Farah Usmani is married to Javed Usmani who describes himself as the Chief Information Commissioner of Uttar Pradesh and former chief secretary in the government of Uttar Pradesh.