I can hardly describe the joy and relief I felt reading your piece on the Hadiya case in the Hindu yesterday. By now I am nearly deaf from the cacophony of misogyny, islamophobia, and sheer short-sighted rage that CPM supporters on Facebook are unleashing against this young woman.
Your voice of sanity, Comrade, is therefore a great restorative. If not for your writing, one could have well thought that the CPM was nothing more than a bunch of short sighted, power hungry, strategisers, whose total lack of ethics and values is covered up by a vapid, outdated rationalism and an equally problematic liberalism. You refuse to condemn Hadiya for choosing Islam. You acknowledge that she is brave. You unequivocally reject the father and other minions of patriarchy. You rightly criticise state patriarchy evident in the Supreme Court. Unlike many CPM supporters here, you have no illusions about the times we live in; you are clearly aware that the NIA is not something which will spare us if we stay good. Importantly, you put paid to the idea that the High Court judgement that sanctioned her illegal custody was justified — an idea assiduously nurtured by certain public figures allied with the CPM against religious Muslims. Comrade, thank you again for being so forthright and in the face of snarling islamophobes in your own ranks actually gunning for the voice you raised against her illegal custody long back.
Continue reading An open letter to Brinda Karat: why do female supporters of the Kerala CPIM spew such venom at Hadiya?
(cross-posted on www.countermedia.in)
Shamshad Hussain, J. Devika
The death threats received by a young woman student of engineering, Rayana R Khazi, a native of Cherkalam in Kasaragod, over a period of the past ten months, have been in the news in Kerala recently. The threats which were issued over the phone, on the streets, and by letters, have demanded just one thing: Rayana should comply with ‘Islamic dress-norms’; she should don the purdah. She has received four threatening letters. Of these, three issue death-threats, outright. The fourth is in the form of a warning that offers lengthy advice. One of these says: you have not heeded many warnings issued. We, Muslim brethren, will now decide your fate. This letter, which begins and ends in the name of Allah, is unsigned. Continue reading Dressing and Death-Threats in Kerala : Re-former Man’s Second Coming?
In the past few weeks, I have been asked over and over again, not always in jest, if I had joined the Popular Front. I am not surprised. The police investigation around the violence against the college teacher at Muvattupuzha has broken all previous records in not only the violation of human and civil rights, but also in the silence of Kerala’s enlightened intellectuals. If I recall right, only Nandigram evoked such a dense and deliberate silence from them. No wonder, anyone who speaks up against the manner in which the police is being armed and authorized against ‘bad muslims’ is immediately dubbed a supporter of the Popular Front. But I am intrigued by this simple question, by which the entire history of that person’s engagement with discussions around religion and the state is erased. Continue reading Have I Joined the Popular Front?