State leadership of ruling CPI-M asked for resignation of Women’s Commission chairperson MC Josephine after her insensitivity to the feelings of victims of domestic violence caused the government huge embarrassment.
The party secretariat saw Josephine, a senior leader and Central Committee member, completely isolated as her response in a phone-in programme of a local television channel to a woman complainant led to public outcry.
On being told by the complainant that she had not registered a police complaint before calling her, Josephine curtly replied that the woman had to ‘then suffer the consequences’.
The arrogant outburst, at a time when the issue of dowry deaths has been agitating the Kerala society in the wake of the death of a 24-year old Ayurveda medical student at her husband’s house, led to widespread condemnation and demand for the immediate resignation of the chairperson.
Her senior party colleague PK Sreemathy, a former minister and Central Committee member, herself publicly denounced Josephine’s response and reminded her that the chief of the women’s panel has to be sympathetic to the complaints of victims.
Josephine’s was the first political appointment to the position, which was hitherto held by eminent women, such as the late Prof Sugathakumari, whose fight for women’s rights and freedom has become a legend.