Thiruvananthapuram, Jan. 1: A bar association in Kerala has suspended a woman lawyer after a Facebook post hung the label of “sanctimonious lech” on her male colleagues.
Lawyer Anima Muyarath told television channels that the Bar Association of Calicut, the old name of the northern Kerala district Kozhikode, has suspended her for a month. Officials of the association could not be contacted for comment.
A Facebook post attributed to Anima on October 25 said: “It’s been five months since I started practising as a lawyer in the Kozhikode Bar. I don’t know if all workspaces in the world will be like this, but in the Kozhikode Bar and office, I had the chance to meet several ponganmar of my age.”
“Pongan” loosely translates as moron, duffer, flirt or lech. But the explanation that followed suggests she was referring to men who pretend to be self-righteous and well-meaning to ingratiate themselves with a woman.
The post said these men used expressions like “you are pretty”, “beloved daughter” and “sugar cube”. The post said they reminded her of the language used by yesteryear’s hero Prem Nazir and she taunted the flock by wondering whether they had not been watching new movies.
The late Prem Nazir, the highly respected Malayali romantic hero who had essayed the largest number of leading roles in the world, was known for his overtly polite style of courtship on screen.
The attributes of characters played by Prem Nazir were once sought after by many would-be moms-in-law in their prospective sons-in-law. But of late, stars of yesteryears like Prem Nazir and Jayan are a rich source of material of “mimicry artistes”. Prem Nazir’s signature serenading cry — “you silly girl” — is an all-time favourite.
“They destroy women by making them sisters and lovers…. I convey my disgust for all ponganmar I met in these five months,” the Facebook post continued.
The post also reflected her revulsion for what she claimed was the attitude of some older people (purportedly senior lawyers) to “arrange” marriages for any new woman they meet. “Are they brokers and pimps?’’ she wondered.
Anima’s post received 38 likes, 28 comments and was shared by eight. But the post became a hot topic of discussion and she was issued a showcause notice in November last.
Anima told the TV channels that she appeared before the Bar officials in response to the notice and denied the charge that she had insulted the entire lawyer community.
“I could not attend the next scheduled date of hearing as I had an exam that day. But though I sent them my hall ticket, the Bar took disciplinary proceedings in my absence. Today, I received the suspension order, which was issued the day before yesterday,’’ she added.