An insensitive comment for a domestic abuse survivor from the chief of a Kerala Women’s Panel sparked a row. The panel chief was quoted saying, “then you suffer” to an abuse survivor on live TV and the insensitive comment has received widespread pushback. The chief of the women’s panel is MC Josephine.
On June 26, Kerala Women’s Commission’s chief MC Josephine found herself in a world of trouble after she made an insensitive remark towards a woman who claimed to be a domestic abuse survivor. The remark came when Josephine, who was attending a phone-in show from Manorma News, lost her patience.
In the Manorma News show, a Ernakulam based caller claimed that she was regularly subjected to abuse from her husband and her mother-in-law. During the exchange, Josephine was visibly impatient and snapped back at the called.
Exchange between MC Josephine and Domestic Abuse Survivor
MCJ: Do you have children?
Caller: (Says something that’s inaudible_
MCJ: (Repeats herself) Do you have children?
(No response from the caller)
MCJ: (visibly and audibly agitated, raises her voice) DO YOU HAVE CHILDREN?
MCJ: Are you beaten by your husband?
MCJ: The Mother-in-law?
Caller: Both together do that.
MCJ: Did you inform the police?
Caller: Haven’t told anyone?
MC Josephine: Then you suffer!
Other insulting remarks from an impatient MC Josephine
For the rest of the call, MC Josephine did not let the caller speak her part & seemed visibly impatient with the women’s replies. She later advised the caller in an impatient tone and asked her to go to the family court so that her family can be compensated for the abuse she received.
“Did you understand what I said? If you don’t want to live with your husband, you should get a good lawyer and approach the family court to get the dowry back and compensation,”
-she was quoted by the news media saying.
The women’s panel chief’s insulting remarks continued and to another caller who was having other marital issues, she said how what the caller was doing was “stupidity”. In her rant, she also went on to claim how it is women “who make all the mistakes”.
“What you did was stupidity. After you got separated, why did you go for a compromise? You had one more child…let me talk. You can’t just go on talking…women are the ones who make all the mistakes,”
Backlash against Josephine from opposition & netizens
Due to her insulting comments, which sidelined the plights of abuse survivors, Josephine received backlash from several political leaders. BJP’s Sobha Surendran took to Twitter and asked Smriti Irani, who serves as Union Minister, to take action against Josephine.
Chairperson of Kerala Women’s Commission is an intolerant hostile CPI(M) leader who condemned a domestic violence complainant on live TV and condones abuse. Requesting @smritiirani ji to kindly intervene. @NCWIndia @DebasreeBJP @sharmarekha @MinistryWCD pic.twitter.com/kHVkdbFt0K
— Sobha Surendran (@SobhaBJP) June 24, 2021
Several netizens have raised their voices against Josephine after the incident.
MC Josephine is a misfit to be Kerala Women Commission Chairperson.
She gets annoyed often and responds to traumatized victims in an intimidating manner, which will force the shattered women not to place a call again to the Commission.
Kerala women deserve a better person.
— Rejimon Kuttappan (@rejitweets) June 23, 2021
Wow….this is how you should respond to the victims.
— SreeLakshmi Ajith K (@SreeLakshmiAji8) June 24, 2021
MC Josephine, Chairperson of Women’s Commission, Kerala is an utter disgrace. This is a video of a victim calling to report a complaint about domestic violence.
Josephine: Did you inform the police about the issue?
Josephine: then bear with itpic.twitter.com/pk9UA4vWUv
— Elina : On A Break 🙂 (@LawyerInBaking) June 24, 2021
It has to be seen if Kerala State Women’s Commision chair MC Josephine is removed her post for making insensitive comments. If the Govt intends to ride over the storm, it doesn’t bode well with their messaging or perception, as both would sound hypocritical.
— അപ്പു – Appu – Double Mask & Avoid Crowds (@appooz) June 24, 2021
After the issue raised a controversy, Josephine was approached by reporters for further comment. Speaking to reporters she said, “I have not made any slurs. I simply said she should have gone to the police.
Other controversies by Josephine
It should be noted that this was not the first time MC Josephine was part of a controversy. In 2020, Josephine, who also serves as a CPM committee member, was asked about her women’s commission’s stand on the cases against the CPM leaders.
To this, she claimed how the party is the court and the party is the police station.