This comes after her rude response to a woman who complained of domestic abuse went viral and sparked outrage.

MC JosephinePHOTO CREDIT: SANU N, WIKIMEDIA
news Controversy Friday, June 25, 2021 - 14:56

A day after Kerala Women’s Commission Chairperson MC Josephine’s remark in a Malayalam new channel sparked row, Josephine resigned from the post. The decision was announced following the CPI(M) state secretariat meeting. Josephine had received sharp criticism from scores on social media and outside, against her rude reply to a Kochi native woman who called her to inform about domestic violence in a phone-in programme conducted by a Malayalam news channel. Opposition parties, including the Congress and BJP, had demanded the resignation of MC Josephine from the post.

In a TV show, a young woman told Josephine that she faced harassment at the hands of her husband and her mother in law. Josephine, who sounded irritated with the woman for a background sound during the phone call, then asked her if she had approached the police. When the victim said no, Josephine said, “Then, you suffer.”

The controversial incident took place in the programme held by Manorama News on June 23, where women facing domestic abuse could call in and directly raise their complaint to the Women’s Commission Chairperson. Though Josephine appeared curt and rude with some of the callers, she answered others with more patience than at display in the viral clip in the one hour programme.

On June 24, in her first reaction, Josephine had claimed that she did not make such a comment. She claimed that her statements were being twisted. When the protests intensified, Josephine apologised in the evening and said that she was only speaking like a stern mother.

According to reports, the CPI(M) was unhappy with Josephine and moreover with people in the state feeling outraged over many recent dowry deaths, Josephine’s actions brought embarrassment to the party.

This is not the first time that Josephine had sparked controversy and made insensitive remarks. Earlier this year in January, a similar harsh reply to a complainant had sparked another row. A relative of an 87-year-old complainant woman’s relative, who was assaulted by a neighbour, had requested Josephine to shift the hearing to a nearby place so that the ailing complainant can attend it. However, Josephine reportedly asked harshly why an 87-year-old was made to file the complaint. In the audio, Josephine was also heard calling the complainant “thalla”, a colloquial word in Malayalam that is used to refer rudely to an old woman.

In June 2020 also, there were demands to remove Josephine from the post following yet another controversial remark. During a media interaction after visiting a woman who was gang-raped, Josephine got miffed by a question from a journalist about such cases against CPI(M) members. She said that the Women’s Commission takes action against CPI(M) leaders in an impartial manner, and that her “party was also functioning like a court and a police station."

According to reports, the CPI(M) was unhappy with Josephine and moreover with people in the state feeling outraged over many recent dowry deaths, Josephine’s actions brought embarrassment to the party. Josephine is a central committee and state committee member of the CPI(M). The party's state secretariat therefore asked for her resignation.

Read: When a woman is nothing if not a wife: Vismaya's death points to our shared guilt

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.