CPIM leader and former MLA George M Thomas was publicly censured by the party for his controversial remarks on ‘Love Jihad’ as he called it a “reality” and said, “interfaith marriage by a party worker shattered the religious harmony in the region”.
Thomas’s statement had stirred a row after local DYFI leader MS Shijin, who is a Muslim, married his lover Joisna Joseph, a Christian nurse, and her community raised an alarm. Joining the community’s concern, Thomas had said the young comrade’s action “has shattered the communal harmony in the region and the party may take action against Shijin”. Thomas went on to say that ‘Love Jihad’ exists in some parts of Kerala.
However, as the controversy grew, Thomas retracted the statement and said there was no ‘Love Jihad’ in Kerala. The CPIM, too, was quick to add that there was nothing unnatural in two people belonging to different religions getting married and ‘Love Jihad’ is a creation of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS).
The Kozhikode district committee of the party that met on Wednesday decided to initiate the disciplinary action against Thomas. According to the CPI(M) constitution, ‘public censure’ is the third harshest disciplinary action, starting from a warning, followed by censure, public censure, removal from a party post, and dismissal from the party membership.
CPIM Kozhikode district secretary P Mohanan said Thomas admitted his mistake as his statement was against the party’s secular stand and tendered an apology.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Joseph said she married the person she loved and expressed hope that her parents will approve of her marriage.
Her remarks came after the Kerala High Court disposed of the habeas corpus writ filed by her father against her marriage with Shijin and allowed the two to live together.