October 4, 2023
NEW DELHI – A Kerala CPM leader’s remarks on hijab-wearing women has put the party in a difficult situation in the state.
CPM State Committee member K Anil Kumar during a programme conducted by Essence Global, an atheist outfit, stated that it was due to the influence of his party that the women of Muslim-dominated Malappuram district have abandoned the headscarf.
Anil Kumar also said that if Muslim women are not starving, they should thank the Communist Party.
Anil Kumar’s statements have stirred a controversy within the party and several Muslim organisations have slammed the CPM leader’s remarks.
Former Minister and CPM MLA KT Jaleel said that the Communist Party has not convinced any Muslim girl against wearing headscarves.
If a person’s personal opinion is presented as that of that of the party, then it could lead to misunderstanding, he said
Samasta leader Abdu Samad Pookottoor also claimed that the CPM’s double standard in favour of vote-bank politics had come to light.
The CPM, which sided with Muslim organisations while ignoring the opposition on the Waqf and gender equality issues, may suffer as a result of Anil Kumar’s remarks.
Muslim League leader and former MLA KM Shaji said that Anil Kumar’s claim cannot be taken as a stand-alone remark.
He alleged that the CPM has two politburos, one for informing the media and the public decisions of the party and another committee for secret agendas.
“Now a mistake has happened that one of these plans which are being implemented in secret has been unknowingly revealed,” Shaji said
Muslim League MLA KPA Majeed has said Anil Kumar’s remarks had exposed the real intentions of the CPM leadership.
“The CPM, which celebrates Muslim girls without hijab as a feat, must be riddled with Islamophobia. Not just sanghis, even saffron Communists are allergic to hijab. CPM is RSS’s A team in Kerala. BJP is just the B team,” said Muslim Students Federation leader Fatima Tahlia.
“The choice of attire is an individual’s right and is a part of the democratic right as envisaged by the Constitution,” CPM state secretary MV Govindan said.
Later, Anil Kumar himself clarified in a Facebook post that he would uphold his party’s stand in the matter.
After the CPM distanced itself from Anil Kumar’s statement, BJP Kerala president K Surendran alleged that the Left party is not bothered about protocols and principles when it came to the matter of the vote bank.