Writer T Padmanabhan said that MC Josephine’s body language was cruel, and that she lacks kindness in her talks or behaviour.

MC Josephine women commission chairperson in a meeting, wikimedia picturePhoto: Sanu N, Wikimedia
news Controversy Sunday, January 24, 2021 - 18:03

Kerala Women’s Commission chairperson MC Josephine courted yet another controversy after the audio, where she deals with a complainant in an insolent manner, went viral. The Kerala Women’s Commission chief received flak from all quarters for her misbehaviour, including from writer T Padmanabhan.

Two days ago, the male relative of an 87-year-old woman near Tiruvalla in Pathanamthitta district had called Josephine regarding a complaint he had filed with the Women’s Commission in the first week of January. The complaint was against a neighbour had who assaulted 87-year-old Lakshmikutty, as a result of which she allegedly cannot walk properly.

On receiving the complaint, the Women’s Commission summoned Lakshmikutty and the neighbour to Adoor, which is about 30 kilometres away from her house. The male relative called Josephine to explain Lakshmikutty’s situation and her inability to travel as she is reportedly bedridden.

In the audio clip of the phone conversation, Josephine curtly asks the male relative, Ullas, why they filed a complaint with the Women’s Commission and not the police since it is a case of the alleged assault. Ullas alleged that the police did not take his complaint and hence he approached the Women’s Commission.

“You made an 87-year-old woman file a complaint with the Women’s Commission. What should I say? Who asked you to make an old woman file a complaint? If the police were not taking the complaint, you should have intimated someone,” Josephine responded brusquely.

Ullas unwittingly enquired isn’t Women’s Commission the body that deals with women’s matters. In an offhanded response, Josephine, a CPI(M) leader, said, “If Women’s Commission summons you, you must come to the office. We can’t punish the person who gave the complaint on behalf of an old woman, no? We will call both parties and resolve the matter.”

At one point, Josephine can even be heard addressing the old woman as thalla, a colloquial word in Malayalam that is used to rudely refer to an old woman.

When he requested for a hearing closer to their house, Josephine refused to listen to him and maintained, “It is up to you if you choose to come or not”. 

LISTEN: The conversion between Josephine and complainant

After the audio clip went viral, writer T Padmanabhan said that her body language itself was cruel and that she lacks kindness in her talks or behaviour. He expressed his displeasure to veteran CPI(M) leader P Jayarajan when the latter visited Padmanabhan’s house in Kannur on Sunday, as part of the party’s house visit programme ahead of Kerala Assembly election 2021.

Coming down heavily on Josephine, the noted writer said that it was not appropriate to talk so rudely as she (Josephine) holds an important position, to protect women who are in trouble.

P Jayarajan told the media that the CPI(M) party will take the issue very seriously.

According to Ullas, Josephine's reaction was not appropriate and that she bawled him out.

Meanwhile, reacting to the row, MC Josephine refuted the allegations and said she was not rude. She alleged that the person who cared for her was not clear on the situation.


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