Kerala CPI(M) leader claims their influence made Muslim women abandon headscarf, lands party in trouble

02:05 PM Oct 03, 2023 | PTI |

An alleged controversial remark made by a senior CPI(M) leader regarding the traditional headscarf worn by Muslim women in Kerala has landed the ruling party in trouble with several religious outfits and scholars coming out against it.


While speaking at a recent event organised by an atheist outfit here, CPI (M) leader Anil Kumar reportedly said that it was due to the influence of the Marxist party that the women of the Muslim-dominated Malappuram district had abandoned ‘thattam’, the headscarf.

He also said Muslim women in the southern state should thank not Albert Einstein but the Communist party for not starving.

Irked by his remarks, ‘Samastha’, an influential Sunni scholars’ body, said the CPI(M)’s ‘double standards’ have been exposed through this.

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Abdusamad Pookkottur, a prominent leader of Samastha, alleged that apostasy was the crux of the Left party and that it was approaching minorities for votes.


IUML leaders K M Shaji and KPA Majeed also joined the scholars’ body in denouncing the CPI (M) over Anil Kumar’s statement.

In a hard-hitting Facebook post, Shaji, a staunch critic of the Marxist party leadership, alleged that the party has prepared two teams—one to go among rationalists to speak against the believers and another to take part in the meetings of believers and praise them.

He asked the religious community whether they “still want to believe that Communism is innocent?”.

Majeed also slammed the Left party through his social media handle, saying Anil Kumar’s remarks had exposed the real intentions of its leadership.

The IUML leader questioned the rationale behind linking free thinking with the abandonment of the headscarf.

He also alleged that the atheist event, in which the controversial speech was made, was organised by a ‘Sangh Parivar-sponsored’ person.

“Our headscarf-clad children are enough to expose your (CPI-M’s) hypocrisy,” he added in the FB post.

IUML state general secretary PMA Salam accused the Marxist Party of ‘infringing’ on religious beliefs and wondered who had abandoned ‘thattam’ in Malappuram.

Even those belonging to the current generation were wearing headscarves, he told reporters in Malappuram.

Meanwhile, independent LDF MLA and strong Left sympathiser K T Jaleel rejected Anil Kumar’s claims and said not wearing ‘thattam’ could not be considered as a sign of progress.

“Presenting personal opinion as that of the party will lead to misunderstanding. The Communist Party has not turned any woman not wearing a head scarf in the state,” the former minister said in a Facebook post.


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