Bharatiya Janata Party MP Poonam Mahajan on Sunday said every Indian woman including herself has faced sexual harassment, and that it was up to women “to not harbour self-pity”, The Times of India reported. “If someone harasses you, slap him and do not think about why he did that,” Mahajan said during a speech at the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad.

“I used to take a train to my classes in Versova from Worli in Mumbai. I could not afford to travel by car at the time. But I did not feel self-pity that someone was looking at me in a disagreeable way,” she said. “Every woman on this planet, especially in India, has faced that. Every Indian woman has had remarks passed about her or has been touched inappropriately,” the newspaper quoted her as saying.

Mahajan, who is also President of the Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha, said India had surpassed the United States of America in having women leaders. “They do not have a woman president. But in India, women have assumed the role of president, prime minister, defence minister, and chief ministers.” She said men could afford mediocrity in politics but women cannot.