Indian Express, April 4, 2018
A professor in Kerala has raked up a controversy with his remarks that women who dress like men end up “giving birth to transgenders.” Rajith Kumar, a Botany professor, made the bizarre remarks during an awareness class for students in Kerala’s Kasaragod, reported PTI.
“Women who wear jeans and shirts and dress like men, give birth to children called transgender. There are over six lakh transgenders in Kerala,” he said while addressing a gathering. He also added that only those couples give birth to “good children” who “live their lives as men and women.” He also said that children of parents who are not of good character turn out to be “autistic and suffer from cerebral palsy.”
Media reports suggest that this is not the first time that the professor’s remarks have created an outrage. Earlier, he had made disparaging remarks against girl students while addressing them at a women’s college in the state capital Thiruvananthapuram, following which a student had booed him and walked out in protest.
The state government has planned to take a legal action against Kumar and he also faces the prospect of being barred from appearing at the government-sponsored awareness classes in schools and colleges. Accusing Kumar of propagating superstition and making anti-women remarks, Health Minister K K Shylaja said, “Rajith Kumar has not withdrawn his controversial statements so far. The government is mulling initiating legal action against him.”
Last month, Jouhar Munavvir, another professor from Kerala was slammed for making misogynistic comments about female students. Munavvir, speaking about the dressing style in college during a counselling session had said, “I am the professor of Farook College where 80 per cent students are women, a majority among whom are Muslims. Think about it. The girls wear purdah but wear leggings inside. This is today’s style. They pull up the purdah, showing the leggings to the world. Don’t even talk about muftah. They don’t even wear the muftah. They wrap a shawl around with some 32 steps and 25 pins. That’s the style, revealing the chest. One of the body parts that man is highly attracted to is a woman’s bosom. That’s why it should be covered. But our girls reveal a part of their bosom. Like how we slice a melon open and see the ripe part inside. This style of wearing the muftah is not Islamic.” The professor had been booked under Section 354, 509(a) of the Indian Penal Code.