CPM state committee member K. Anilkumar tasted the heat of boomerang after referring to Muslim women’s hijab, the head scarf, they wear. His own party comrades jumped against him followed by the party state secretary; and Anil had no other alternative than to go back on his own words. Anilkumar had said, while addressing an atheist conference in Thiruvananthapuram, that CPM always stands with women’s progressive ideas and it was CPM that inspired some women to give up hijab in (Muslim dominated) Malappuram.
Immediately, K.T. Jaleel, LDF (ruling CPM-led Left Democratic Front) MLA and former minister, opposed him through his FB post. The theme of his post is reported to be like this, off course without mentioning Anilkumar’s name. He says, one person’s mistake should not be construed as that of the party. The opinion (read Anilkumar’s) on hijab culture is personal. He (Jaleel) strongly condemns the method of interpreting an individual’s opinion as that of the party. He narrated his experience of visiting Arif’s house when the latter’s mother died – Arif performed the funeral rites of his mother sticking to the religious system. Jaleel added that CPM is having several believers. Jaleel maintained that giving up the hijab is not the symbol of progress. And CPM has not persuaded any Muslim girl to give up the hijab. Giving it up is not a sign of development.
Jaleel reportedly opined, in his FB post, that political leaders and public servants should keep away from responding to the emotional issues of any group. They should rely on their judgment and conscience. Personal opinion is acceptable, but it should not give the impression that it belongs to the party they stand for. Communal and political enemies are likely to exploit it.
CPM state secretary M.V. Govindan opposed Anilkumar too. He said, dressing is the right of the individual. Constitution guarantees it. No one should intrude into it. No question of dictating terms in this regard. Secretary said that his party has clarified that there should not be any such reference. Anilkumar’s statement is different from the party’s stand.
And, A.M. Arif, the lone CPM MP (LS) from Kerala has reportedly shared Jaleel’s FB post. He told the media that Anilkumar should have studied the issue well.
Naturally several Muslim organizations came forward against Anil’s speech. Samastha Kerala Jamiyyat-ul Ulama, Indian Union Muslim League and its student wing Muslim Students Federation (MSF) have opposed Anilkumar.
No surprise, Congress leader and LoP V.D. Satheeshan opposed Anilkumar’s remarks. He sarcastically asked what is the difference between BJP and CPM.
Later on, Anilkumar said in his FB post that his stand and party’s stand is the same. In another words, he went back on his earlier stand.
Now, the entire episode speaks out who is calling the shots in CPM. No doubt, the Muslim leaders in it. The Muslims in CPM strictly adheres to their tradition and religious rites. The same time, they enjoy their ‘democratic right’ (they call it Constitutional fundamental right) to ridicule and insult Hindu faith. Recently, when assembly Speaker Shamseer called Lord Ganesh a myth and Hindutva a faith sans scientific temper, the same M.V. Govindan and the entire CPM supported him. Congress did not dare to condemn the Speaker in strong language, thanks to the minority vote bank they always bank on.
Speaker made the above remarks, while addressing the programme of school children. Immediately Mohammed Riaz, the state minister and the CM’s son-in-law, supported him.
The same Arif (MP), during the height of the Sabarimala agitation, had told that if the party secretary makes a phone call, lakhs of young women would enter the Sabarimala temple (violating the norm that women between the age of 10 and 50 are not permitted).
In short, CPM has once again proved that they always stand for the Muslim tradition even though the people from within the same society express their dislikes towards some obsolete customs. CPM’s negative attitude towards Uniform Civil Code is a glaring example for this.