While many people debated the implications of opening up liquor sales in India amid the coronavirus pandemic, Bollywood Director Ram Gopal Varma focused his attention on a picture of women queuing up to buy alcohol.
"Sarkar" film director, who also directed the film "Sex, God and Truth", Varma shared the picture of women waiting for their turn to purchase liquor with the caption: “Look who’s in line at the wine shops ..So much for protecting women against drunk men.”
Look who’s in line at the wine shops ..So much for protecting women against drunk men 🙄 pic.twitter.com/ThFLd5vpzd— Ram Gopal Varma (@RGVzoomin) May 4, 2020
The tweet has social media users angry with many criticizing him for his “sexist”, “misogynist” and distasteful comment, as it was widely perceived to suggest that women buying liquor should not complain about domestic violence.
i'm sorry, did you think women don't drink? that's okay. I'll enlighten you. WE DRINK. But we don't go home and abuse our families. because we can handle our drinks and also we understand human rights! :)— i'm gonna offend u brother (@__maneeshaaa) May 4, 2020
What the hell is wrong with you? If a mind as fertile in imagination as yours can produce such sexist crap, what's the hope of normal people then?— karanbir singh (@karanbirtinna) May 4, 2020
Assault on women is the final stage. Its thinking like this that is the breeding ground of assaults. Shame on you.
Singer Sona Mohapatra also slammed Varma, saying his tweet "reeks of sexism & misplaced morality. Women have a right to buy and consume alcohol just like men. No one has a right to be drunk & violent."
Dear Mr RGV,time for u to get into the line of people who desperately need a real education.1 that lets u understand why this tweet of yours reeks of sexism & misplaced morality.Women have a right to buy & consume alcohol just like men. No one has a right to be drunk & violent. https://t.co/5AUcTrAJrZ— ShutUpSona (@sonamohapatra) May 4, 2020
A journalist, Prajwal, who clicked the picture also criticised the director for sharing the picture, saying in reality there were just a dozen women standing in a queue with hundreds of men.
"1. You tweet a pic I clicked and 2. your tweet is twisted and sexist. If you were there, you would see that there were hardly a dozen women standing while there were hundreds of men in a serpentine queue. The police official on duty said a separate line was made to protect women," stated Prajwal.
1. You tweet a pic I clicked and 2. your tweet is twisted and sexist. If you were there, you would see that there were hardly a dozen women standing while there were hundreds of men in a serpentine queue. The police official on duty said a separate line was made to protect women.— Prajwal (@prajwalmanipal) May 4, 2020
Following the backlash, Varma issued a clarifying tweet, stating that his intention was misunderstood and he meant it for the "leaders who falsely presume that only men drink and abuse women in that state."
Hey I think u misunderstood the intention behind that tweet ..I am the last person to be judgemental ..I meant it for the leaders who falsely presume that only men drink and abuse women in that state https://t.co/4DYJ6201j1— Ram Gopal Varma (@RGVzoomin) May 5, 2020
The director made headlines in 2018 for directing and writing a pornographic short film "Sex, God and Truth", with American porn star Mia Malkova. In it, Malkova delivers a monologue about her sexuality, the role of women in society and the patriarchy.