Kerala Women’s Commission chairperson MC Josephine stoked another controversy on Wednesday after she displayed her arrogance in front of an aggrieved woman on live TV and asked her to “suffer” for not approaching the police after being assaulted by her husband and mother-in-law.
The incident occurred during a live phone-in programme that was held by a Malayalam news channel Manorama news where the chairperson was responding to people’s grievances.
In a video that has gone viral on the internet, Kerala Women’s Commission MC Josephine, who has a history of overlooking complaints made by victims in Kerala, was seen disinterested in addressing victims’ complaints. During the show, a lady named Labina had telephoned the women’s panel chief to complain against her husband and mother-in-law for domestic violence.
However, Josephine was seen visibly upset with the call, who kept on lashing the women for poor network connection. As she enquired regarding her complaint, the woman alleged that her husband would beat her up every day. In response, Josephine asked whether Labina had approached the police to complain about the violence.
As the woman responded with a ‘no’, Josephine arrogantly asked her to “suffer” for not going to the police against her husband and mother-in-law, and instead , complaining to her about the matter.
Please go through the video and understand how Kerala Women’s Commission chairperson M.C. Josephine dealing with a poor woman who called her for help and how she is treated, Kerala model. pic.twitter.com/slqSoaB7AX— Rocket Scientist 🇮🇳 (@Rockumon) June 24, 2021
The incident has triggered negative feedback on social media. People have condemned the insensitive behaviour of the Women’s Commission chairperson towards a victim of violence and her disregard for the victim’s mental state.
Malayalam filmmaker Aashiq Abu has demanded the resignation of Kerala Women’s Commission chief MC Josephine over her rude response to a victim of abuse and violence.
Similarly, several other Kerala residents have also asked the Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to remove Kerala women’s panel chief for her arrogant behaviour.
@vijayanpinarayi first and foremost thing you should do is to remove MC Josephine as Chairperson of Kerala Women’s Commission. She is not even fit to be part of Women’s Commission in the first place. Give such responsibilities to people who can atleast understand issue at hand.— Thomas Babychan (@ThomasBabychan) June 24, 2021
Another social media user pointed out that Josephine’s shocking behaviour is not unexpected as left leaders do not entertain even basic questions.
The repulsive attitude of Kerala women’s commission chief MC Josephine who told a woman to “suffer” instead of comforting her is similar to certain Left leaders who don’t entertain even basic questions. @vijayanpinarayi @cpimspeak @SitaramYechury— Rakesh Kombra / ರಾಕೇಶ್ ಕೊಂಬ್ರಾ (@rakeshkombra) June 24, 2021
Following the backlash, Josephine has defended herself, claiming, “There are some women who are not willing to listen despite us explaining things. We ask people to go to the police station and file complaints because we cannot reach everywhere.”
She claimed that if women file a complaint with the police, then their case would be much stronger. “We tell this to everyone. It is the same, even if it is common people,” she said.
Josephine has a history of displaying arrogance and insensitivity
This is not the first time that MC Josephine has involved in such controversies. The left leader has a history of displaying her arrogance and insensitivity towards women victims, and there are allegations that she has protected Communist leaders accused of grave crimes against women.
In June last year, Kerala State Women’s Commission chairperson MC Josephine had courted controversy after she had claimed that her party Communist Party of India (Marxist), was both a court and a police station.
Josephine, who is also a CPM central committee member, had made these shocking remarks while responding to questions on the commission’s indifference in handling cases where communist leaders are accused. A reporter had asked regarding the Commission’s stand on certain cases against CPI(M) leaders.
“I may be the Chairperson of the state Women’s Commission, but I am from the communist party. No other party other than mine will take stern action in cases against women. I know which case you are mentioning. In that case, the family members, who are party followers, told me that they need the decision to be taken by the party,” the women’s panel chief said, referring to a case involving senior CPI(M) leader and MLA PK Sasi.
“Our party is a court and a police station. No leniency will be shown towards any leader in that regard,” Josephine had said.
Committing rape is a human mistake: MC Josephine
In 2018, MC Josephine had come out in defence of the rape accused Communist Party of India (Marxist) MLA PK Sasi, by terming it as a “mistake”. In response to the allegations against PK Sasi, the chairperson of the Women’s Commission of Kerala had stated, “mistakes do happen”.
“We are all human beings, mistakes do happen. People inside the party may also have committed such mistakes,” Kerala Women’s panel chief Josephine had said.
In 2018, Shoranur MLA PK Sasi was suspended for six months by the ruling CPI(M) government after a woman Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) leader had accused Sasi of sexually abusing her. The women’s panel had then said that they would investigate the matter only if the woman had come out in public or filed a police case.
Prior to this, she had opined that hiding the names of victims of sexual assault is an anti-women approach. She had said that the thinking that hiding the name of victims ensures the safety of women is the result of anti-women consciousness.