Kerala police book college professor for making sexist ‘watermelon’ remark
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Kerala police book college professor for making sexist ‘watermelon’ remark

Kerala professor’s remark that Muslim girls were not wearing the hijab properly and deliberately exposing their chests like “sliced watermelon” had triggered widespread protests across the state.

india Updated: Mar 23, 2018 12:09 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
Kerala professor,Watermelon remark,Sexist comment
Jouhar Munavvir T’s comments triggered protets in Kerala. (Picture courtesy:

Police in Kerala registered a case against the professor of a teachers’ training college in Kozhikode on Thursday, almost a week after his controversial speech comparing chest of Muslim women students to sliced watermelons sparked widespread protest across the state.

Farook Training College’s Jouhar Munavvir T made the controversial remark while delivering a speech at a religious function in Koduvally of Kozhikkode district recently. The speech was later uploaded to social media drawing angry responses from students and activists.

Hundreds of students held marches at many places carrying sliced watermelons and some women activists posted their nude photographs on social media.

“We have filed a non-bailable case against the teacher after a final year degree student of the same college filed a complaint. The case has been registered under IPC Sections 354 (A) and 509 (insulting the modesty of women and denigrate their status by words, gesture or act),” a senior police officer of north Kerala said.

A police team has also been constituted to track and arrest him, the officer added.

“I am a teacher of a college where 80% of students are girls and a majority of them are Muslims. Though they wear hijab they expose some part of their chest defeating the very purpose of wearing them. They expose, you know, like how we cut a slice of melon to see whether it is ripe or not,” Munavvir said adding parents and religious leaders should take note of this.

The social science professor said such trends were un-Islamic and against the very tenets of the religion.

“You should see how they wear hijab. They cover their heads with a scarf. They wear hijab in a way their chest is not covered. We all know a woman’s bosom is one of the body parts that attract man most. But our girls expose their chest giving an impression that the rest of their body is like the exposed part,” Munavvir said.

The college is yet to take action against him.

The principal of the Farook College CA Jawahar said Munavvir made this statement during a religious function three months ago outside the college and it was unfair to whip it up now.

First Published: Mar 23, 2018 12:00 IST