Indian actress Mallika Sherawat has made headlines for her passionate take down of a female journalist who questioned comments the actress had previously made in a Vanity Fair interview, where she discussed the issue of women's rights in India.
At a local press conference to promote the Bollywood star's latest project, The Bachelorette India, the reporter asked Sherawat to clarify why she used the words "regressive and depressing" to describe her homeland.
"I think you need to do your homework," Sherawat replied, saying she had been referring to Indian society's attitude toward women, not the county itself.
"With female feticide, infanticide happening on an almost daily basis; with gang rapes making the headlines of almost every newspaper; with honour killings... I think it's a very, very regressive state for women," she said. "And I stand by it!"
Not willing to accept defeat, the journalist persisted, telling Sherawat that by focussing on the treatment of women in India the actress promotes a negative global image.
"As a woman, I should lie about the state of women that's in our country?" Sherawat responds, "...I didn't lie. I said the truth."
The outburst had earned Sherawat a legion of internet fans, but local press are divided in their reporting of the incident - India Times down plays it thus:
"Treating this entire incident like Mallika's moment of victory on behalf of women across India, would be an over-exaggeration."
You can watch the fiery exchange here:
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