Former panel’s dissolution not linked to abuse plaints, says Haritha general secretary

The IUML leadership still faces criticism for its action, which came after Haritha members accused their male colleagues in the MSF of verbal abuse and cyber bullying.

Published: 12th June 2023 05:43 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th June 2023 05:45 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

MALAPPURAM:  The current state committee of Haritha, the women’s wing of the Muslim Students Federation (MSF), led by president P H Ayisha Banu and general secretary Rumaiza Rafeeq, will turn two in September. It assumed charge after the Indian Union Muslim League disbanded the former panel, led by Mufeeda Thesni and Najma Thabsheera, for disciplinary reasons.

The IUML leadership still faces criticism for its action, which came after Haritha members accused their male colleagues in the MSF of verbal abuse and cyber bullying. Rumaiza talks to TNIE about the response of the IUML leadership to issues faced by Haritha members and its general attitude to the empowerment of women.

Is it true that the former committee was disbanded after members raised complaints against their MSF male colleagues?
Members of the former committee, including Najma Thabsheera, remain active members of the organisation. However, the committee has a two-year tenure and the former panel had exceeded its term, when the IUML decided to name a new committee. The decision was unrelated to the complaints raised by former Haritha leaders against their MSF colleagues.

How do you respond to assertions that action taken against the former committee is proof that IUML is not a women-friendly organisation?
No one can say the IUML is not women-friendly. Haritha’s various programmes were initially presented to the League leadership for approval. If the IUML were not women-friendly, it would not have sanctioned the proposals. The IUML consistently works towards empowering women. In a step towards ensuring women’s representation, it plans to reserve 20% of leadership positions in MSF and MYL for women. The League is a progressive and forward-thinking party.

Do you believe you would have encountered similar consequences if you had been a member of the former Haritha committee?

I have been general secretary of the committee for nearly two years, and I have not encountered any such situations. And, I do not anticipate mistreatment on the part of my male colleagues. Haritha operates under the umbrella of the MSF and, if any issues arise, the leadership would first consult with the MSF brass.

Do you believe that female students should be excluded from going on stage to receive their certificates, considering an incident last year where a Samastha leader objected to it?
Samastha is an organisation with religious affiliations, and it has its own set of opinions. On the other hand, the IUML is a political party that actively supports the empowerment of women. I can attest to the fact that the IUML has appointed me as a state leader and provided me with the skills and opportunities even to address the media.

Do you believe that all political parties, including the IUML, are predominantly male-dominated?
Former CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan was once questioned by journalists about the possibility of reserving 50% of seats in the state committee for women. In response, he asked if the question was meant to undermine or harm the party. This reflects the mindset of many male political leaders. Yes, it is true that most political parties are male-dominated.

Follow The New Indian Express channel on WhatsApp


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp