On Friday, CPI Rajya Sabha MP Binoy Viswam wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi declining the invitation to attend the Republic Day celebrations as a sign of protest. Expressing his bewilderment at Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro being chosen as the chief guest at this year’s Republic Day parade, Viswam alleged that his ideology was deep-rooted in misogyny and discrimination. Moreover, he contended that Bolsonaro’s actions were against the ethos of the Constitution which is celebrated on Republic Day.
CPI MP Binoy Viswam has written a letter to PM Modi saying he has declined Governments' invitation to him as a Member of Parliament to attend the 71st Republic Day celebrations as a sign of protest. (1/2)— ANI (@ANI) January 24, 2020
The letter states 'It's astonishing that you've welcomed a leader whose ideology&policies are tarnished by— ANI (@ANI) January 24, 2020
bigotry,misogyny,homophobia&discrimination. His actions in Brazil & at global stage are directly against ethos of Indian Constitution that we celebrate on Republic Day(2/2) https://t.co/bXJcAsoYwr
Earlier in the day, Bolsonaro landed in the national capital ahead of the Republic Day celebrations. He was welcomed at the tarmac by V Muraleedharan- MoS, Ministry of External Affairs. This will be the third occasion on which a Brazilian president will grace the Republic Day parade after 1996 and 2004.
Heartiest welcome to our Hon’ble guest HE Mr @jairbolsonaro, President of Brazil, on behalf of the Government and People of India! Bem-Vindo ao India! 🇮🇳|🇧🇷 @MEAIndia @DrSJaishankar @PMOIndia @Itamaraty_EN @indiainbrazil @BrazilEmbassyIN @planalto pic.twitter.com/zywWXUbOwG— V. Muraleedharan (@MOS_MEA) January 24, 2020
Bolsonaro’s visit has come under scrutiny because of his controversial comments on a range of issues. For instance, in 2014, he told the opposition leader Maria do Rosario in Brazil’s Parliament, "I wouldn't rape you because you're not worthy of it”. Despite facing vehement criticism, he did not apologise and added that he would not rape her because she was "ugly". He also referred to refugees as “scums of the earth” in 2015. Way back in 2002, Bolsonaro was quoted as saying, "I won’t fight against it nor discriminate. But if I see two men kissing each other on the street, I’ll beat them up”. Critics also panned his alleged misogyny in a speech delivered in 2017 where he stated, "I have five children. Four are men, and then in a moment of weakness the fifth came out a girl”.