Mohiyuddin Nadukkandiyil Karassery, popularly known as MN Karassery, first came to prominence in the Malayalam literary sphere with his appeal for widowed Muslim women of Kerala, published as ‘Ummamarkku oru Sangadaharaji’ (A Petition for Muslim Women). In the Shah Bano era, Karassery’s was the lone bold voice critiquing the Islamic Sharia and its abasement of Muslim women from within the community. He was one among the few people who realized the wrong turn that the Muslim community in India was taking in the Shah Bano case.
Karassery espoused the cause of free speech and rational thought within the Muslim orthodoxy. His forceful style of presentation as well as the clarity of his opinions made him a favourite of the liberal-secular ecosystem in Kerala.
In the wake of the sensational case of Chekannur Maulavi’s disappearance, it was Karasseri who took up the issue through his writings and activism. Chekannur Maulavi, a progressive Muslim cleric who became a nemesis to the orthodox Muslim establishment in Kerala owing to his heterodox views, disappeared one night on July 29, 1993. His remains are still untraced. Till date, Karasseri remains the sole visible advocate for Maulavi to have emerged from within the Kerala Muslim community.