‘Sexist’ Cherian Philip Being ‘Manhandled’ in Kerala

In a sexist remark which he sought to subsequently dress up as a comment on Congress culture, CPI(M) fellow traveller and media critic Cherian Philip, a former close aide of senior Congress leader A K Antony, said in a Facebook comment on Sunday that “several women have disrobed themselves in secret and won seats in the Congress in the past.”

Cherian Philip, who had left the party over some differences, made the remarks against women contestants while lauding the ‘shirtless’ protest taken out by some youth Congress activists in Thrissur recently after they were denied tickets to contest the local body polls next month.

“The protest by youth Congress workers was a new model of protest which can be followed. However, this form of protest had been earlier carried out secretly by some women Congress workers and they managed to get tickets,” he had stated.

Women leaders cutting across party lines reacted strongly to Philip’s comment. Mahila Congress leaders Bindu Krishna and Shanimol Usman said the remarks were an “insult” to all women. Krishna said they were also contemplating legal action against him. CPI (M) Rajya Sabha MP and AIDWA leader T N Seema demanded that Philip withdraw the remarks immediately and apologise to the women community. Terming Cherian Philip’s remarks as unfortunate, CPI(M) politburo member Brinda Karat Monday demanded him to withdraw the anti-women comments. “He should withdraw his yesterday’s remarks,” Brinda Karat told reporters.

Initially, an unrepentant Philip warned that if pushed further he would back his allegation with intimate details. “If I start revealing things then many Congress leaders will lose their face,” he said. “The truth cannot be covered up if I publicly apologise. When A K Antony was KPCC president and V M Sudheeran was vice president I was secretary of KPCC. I have not made public the exploitation by Congress leaders which is well known to even Sudheeran,” he wrote on Facebook.