Kerala Women’s Commission Chairperson M.C. Josephine is in the eye of a storm once again over her alleged insensitive remarks to a complainant of domestic violence, with demands growing for her resignation.
Josephine, while attending a live television show hosted by a Malayalam news channel on Wednesday, asked a woman, who alleged that she was being harassed by her husband and mother-in-law, if she had filed a police complaint against them.
When the woman replied in the negative, Josephine could be seen reacting angrily, and asked her to “suffer” for not approaching the police.
The woman told her that she was married since 2014 and had no children and alleged she was constantly being assaulted by her husband and mother-in-law.
The video of the women panel chief’s behaviour on live TV has gone viral on social media, with demands pouring in for her resignation, even from netizens with left leanings, on her ‘insensitive’ attitude.
Josephine, a central committee member of the ruling CPI (M), in a press statement, later expressed regret.
BJP state chief K. Surendran attacked Josephine for her remarks and wanted the Home Department to register a case against her.
“When a woman called up to narrate her woes, Josephine had behaved in an insulting manner. How will women approach the commission with such a person at the helm?” Surendran asked.
Mahila Morcha leader Bindu Krishna said Josephine, heading a quasi judicial body to ensure the safety of women in distress, should not have behaved so.
“This was not the first time she has reacted like this,” Krishna said.
The Morcha took out a march to the Secretariat on Thursday evening, demanding her removal.
Josephine said she had not behaved rudely to the woman. “I could not hear her clearly and I told her to speak a little louder. She told me she had not filed a police complaint and I asked her like a mother why she had not filed so. I was angry that she had not filed any complaint against her husband and mother in law. However, later I felt that I should not have spoken to her like that,” she said in a statement.
“If that sister was hurt by my words I express regret,” she said.
Last year, she had courted controversy by saying her party CPI(M) was a court and police station, while responding to queries on the Left party’s practice of conducting internal inquiries in sexual abuse cases against leaders.