Why the LDF government’s exclusion of Professor Shailaja from “ Rockstar ” reserves criticism
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Posted by K Krishna Priya and Gopikrishnan V
In his job, Politics, Women and Well-Being: How Kerala Became a ‘Model’, Canadian scholar Robin Jeffrey written on KR Gouri Amma, “She’s unlikely to win the awards she might have expected if she had been a man. Her career is a warning against the romanticization of the place of women in Kerala ”.
Due to the careful calculation of electoral politics, parties are generally reluctant to nominate women for the seats considered. “Winning”, because these are mainly seen as male epicenters. According to BRP Bhaskar, a Chennai-based political observer and spokesperson, traditional Kerala politicians have shown a patriarchal outlook by delegitimizing women in legislative and managerial positions at the state level.
Also read: Woman of the Year and Frontline Worker: The Story of Beloved Teacher Shailaja of Kerala
The Left Democratic Front (LDF) sidestepped suspicions about anti-incumbence and retained the post in May 2021. The people’s mandate was so strong that they chose to continue with the avant-garde they believed, were exceptional during crisis management, whether it was the floods, the Nipah virus and the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic. The captain of the ship, as it is called, was none other than Pinarayi Vijayan. However, the “ 2021 term ” is unquestionably known for the triumph of KK Shailaja, known lovingly as the Professoramma, bringing together a prodigious majority in its constituency, Mattannur. How many times do you see a woman come out in such a glorious and glorious way?
Shailaja’s teacher was given responsibility for the Ministry of Health during the previous tenure of the FDL lead government. She has faced a host of challenges, including the Nipah outbreak in 2018 and the COVID-19 pandemic against which the war is still ongoing. Shailaja’s teacher has shown a formidable character in dealing with these crises. The Ministry of Health has made huge investments in the public health sector to keep them equipped to meet the challenges. The Nipah virus could have been fatal, without the timely and effective interventions of the Ministry of Health led by teacher Shailaja. It deserves huge applause. Keeping the death rate low in such a densely populated state as Kerala is exemplary and honorable. We must not overlook the tireless efforts of doctors, nurses, hospital staff and bureaucrats. Coordinating this chain is arguably much more tedious than holding daily press conferences. Unsurprisingly, Shailaja’s teacher has received international recognition and has been featured in prestigious media around the world. This is exactly why, Shailaja teacher ousted to hold a portfolio in the LDF government’s second term felt like a personal betrayal for many.
We believe that Shailaja’s teacher’s victory was a source of happiness and inspiration for millions of women across the state. It reverberated with generations of women across the world when she came out on top by calling a sexist remark on women’s leadership in the Kerala state assembly, as she asked: “Enda penninu kozhapam?” – “What if the woman reigns?” The tenure of the people was undoubtedly influenced by the work that Shailaja’s teacher did tirelessly on the ground. Of course, that doesn’t mean the hard-hitting leadership displayed by Kerala’s chief minister, either. After the criticisms, while Shailaja’s teacher and Pinarayi Vijayan claimed that the left is focused on improving society, instead of trapping individualistic work, feminist concerns about how a woman of stature of KK Shailaja was ousted were also emphatically raised.
People trusted the well-anchored crisis management process by Shailaja’s teacher. Their mandate was indeed a call for the pursuit of the same. To refrain from respecting common sentiments is not worthy of a party which holds progressivism and socialist ideologies in its fold. At this point, we shouldn’t help but imagine the pressure on Veena George, the new sworn-in Minister of Health of Kerala.
Even though the argument was “The party is above the individual, period!”, it is imperative to realize that the mandate of the people is the fuel of the existence of a party. And that deserves to be respected. The truth is, as we have seen in the story of CPI (M) when it comes to the ousting of KR Gowriamma as well, a deeply rooted patriarchy continues to exist. This time it is carefully concealed by glorifying the fact that 3 out of 21 ministers are women. I welcome gender equality.
In terms of party members, the chief whip serves the eyes and ears of party leaders. Whip is derived from the term “Whippers-in” which refers to the people who look after the dogs and keep them together in the field. Party whips are seen as disciplinary officials, in charge of the party’s flock of people. Probably what the party thought was the best fit for a person like Shailaja’s teacher.
KK Shailaja could be the living metaphor for the end of KR. Gouri Amma, who is remembered as the best chief minister Kerala has ever had. Making this move at the height of a second wave of the pandemic, apparently to accommodate newcomers, is unjustifiable given the risk to the health of millions of people.
Also read: Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja is an inspiration to fight coronavirus
Dear comrades, it is advisable to look back and ask yourself if the “manual of ideologies” is mistakenly forgotten.
K Krishna Priya is an undergraduate literature student at Ramjas College. She is a cinephile and draws on the spirit of music and dance. You can find her on Instagram.
Gopikrishnan V is an undergraduate student at Hindu College, University of Delhi. He tries to reflect issues of social and political importance through his writings and writes his thoughts for various online platforms. You can find it on Instagram.
Featured Image Source: Deccan Herald