Support pouring in for Haritha’s fight against patriarchy

Will continue the fight against the patriarchal system that has gripped every aspect of society, assert leaders of Muslim League’s girl student organisation

Published: 10th September 2021 06:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th September 2021 06:11 AM   |  A+A-

The Indian Union Muslim League flag used for representation.

By Express News Service

KOZHIKODE: Undaunted by the IUML’s disciplinary action, leaders of Haritha have asserted that they will continue the fight against the patriarchy that has gripped every aspect of society. At the same time, IUML state secretary and MLA M K Muneer on Thursday backed the party’s decision.  

In a hard-hitting article published in a Malayalam daily, Mufeeda Thesni, state president of the now Haritha committee, said, even in the 21st century, women continue as labourers while men remain as masters.  “It is unfortunate that women in politics are getting labelled as mere managers even after they proved their abilities,” she said, adding that women are denied a space in the decision-making bodies. “Our fight is not against the ideology or policy of the party. We decided to fight when our organisational rights were denied and when our self-pride was wounded,” she said.  “We expected that the party would seriously consider our complaint against the anti-women remarks,” said Thesni. Haritha only exercised the constitutional right by approaching the State Women’s Commission. “We will continue the fight against those who insult womanhood and humanity,” she said in the article.  

Remarking that what is being played out on the issue is a reflection of how women and their voices are subjugated at the homes in Kerala and in politics at large, writer J Devika said the leaders of Haritha have the support of all of Kerala.   

“What’s happening in IUML is regressive. This is akin to the patriarchal structures prevalent in the homes of Kerala where men are justified even when they are at fault and the women who speak out are at the receiving end. We have seen this being played out in all major political parties,” she said.  The parties will never let a woman grow and only need women who don’t have an opinion around them. This has been seen in how former health minister K K Shailaja was dropped from candidature and denied a second ministerial term. Every political party is made up of ‘rowdies’,” says Devika.  

Social activist Sreeja Neyyattinkara said the IUML’s action has proved that political parties need only women who do not react to injustice. Sreeja said the IUML should clarify as to what was the indiscipline Haritha leaders had committed to take action against them. Thamanna Sulthana, state president of the Girls Islamic Organisation (GIO), the feeder organisation of the Jama’at-e-Islami, said the IUML should have accommodated the voice of the girls. “We feel that the issue Haritha raised was genuine because there are many instances of evidence to support their allegation. The way IUML reacted to the issue is not democratic,” she said adding there is merit in Haritha’s stance that the society and politics are not completely free from patriarchy.  

Meanwhile, IUML state secretary and MLA M K Muneer said what the party had announced on Haritha on Wednesday is the unanimous decision. Asserting that it was an internal matter of the party, Muneer said there is no discrimination between women and men in the party.  

Patriarchy has had a stranglehold not only on all religions but also even on political parties. It should be noted that Haritha sprouted from inside the patriarchal structure of the Muslim League. One thing that the political party needs to understand is that dissolving Haritha won’t make the women shut up. They will raise their voice and I truly believe that Haritha will take rebirth in another form. The very act of the League in taking action against Haritha cements its patriarchal attitude.

C S Chandrika, writer
This shoauld not have happened. Muslim League shouldn’t have dissolved Haritha. One should take note that these are modern times — times when even Arab countries known for their rigid rules are beginning to take a positive stance when it comes to women empowerment. So, when such a thing happens in a state like Kerala, I feel the need to condemn the action strongly. Haritha was formed by women and young girls who have been a part of the party. I salute Haritha members for their steadfast stand.

India Matters


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