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Smriti Irani questions the Kerala government’s intentions on women empowerment

While Kerala government is providing full security to women wanting to enter the Sabarimala temple, it is turning a blind eye to nuns harassed by the church

Launching a searing attack on the Communist Party of India (CPI), Union Minister Smriti Irani assailed the Kerala government for being dismissive towards the condition of the nuns in Kerala. She had alleged that the Kerala government endorses women empowerment only when it is politically convenient for them.

Smriti Irani’s remarks came just a day after the four nuns who stood against rape accused Franco Bishop Mulakkal and supported the survivor nun were asked by the Missionaries of Jesus congregation to leave the Kuravilangad convent in Kerala and rejoin their communities in other parts of the country.

Referring to the ‘punishment’ meted out by the Missionaries of Jesus congregation, Smriti Irani chastised the Kerala government for turning a blind eye to the ordeal of the nuns and not providing adequate security to them.

In October 2018, the communist government in Kerala had maintained a stoic silence when Catholic Federation threatened that nuns will be thrown out if they continued with their protest against Bishop Franco. The Missionaries of Jesus has often taken a perverse stand on the issues concerning the abuse of nuns. From doggedly defending Franco Bishop to releasing rape victim’s photos, the Missionaries of Jesus has tried everything in its power to discredit the victim and those who have come forward in her defence.

On the other hand, the Kerala government is trying its best to ensure that women can enter the Sabarimala temple despite massive protest by devotees. The government has provided security to women wanting to enter the shrine, in line with the Supreme Court’s order. But when it comes to nuns harassed by the church, the government turns a blind eye.  It is this cowardly attitude of Kerala government against the Church authorities is what Smriti Irani is calling into question.

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