Kerala: 32-Yr-Old Woman Allegedly Shamed, Abused Online For Planning To Visit Sabarimala Temple
Amidst all the protests going in Kerala around the Supreme Court verdict allowing entry of women into the Sabarimala temple, a woman named Reshma, from Kannur district in Kerala has filed a complaint claiming that she has received threats and abuses on social media platforms after she made public her wishes to visit the temple.
What had happened?
Reportedly, Reshma Nishanth, a 32-year-old teacher on Sunday had announced on Facebook that she has been the rigorous 41-day ‘vratam’ (fast) and will be visiting the temple during the ‘Mandalam’ period. Moreover, she announced that she has been observing all the customs which are required to be followed before visiting the temple. According to The News Minute, she wrote that although she does not intend to start a revolution by entering the temple, she feels that her act will energise lakhs of people to visit the temple later. However, just hours after her Facebook post, Reshma experienced backlash where people were reportedly hurling abuses online.
“I haven’t seen the threats on my profile but many of my friends who are active on groups have reported that there are extremely abusive messages against me. I have seen them myself as well. There are people saying that they will not allow me to climb the hill and that if I leave home, I will not return alive,” she told The Indian Express. Reportedly, she said that while a large number of people have extended their support to her decision, threats and abusive comments did not stop. Meanwhile, her husband Nishanth said that he is aware of the violent protests that might come about as a result of her decision and informed the daily that both families are supportive of Reshma.
Authorities extend their support
The Sub-Inspector of Police at Kannapuram, Mr.Mahesh, speaking exclusively to The Logical Indian said, “The current situation here is peaceful, no problems as such. She is not under any police protection. To my knowledge, there was no threat or anything by Shiv Sena or RSS groups. The problem is that about 10 to 30 people were against her visiting the Sabarimala temple. The social media is a platform where good and bad people are there. Some might stand with her and some might go against her. She has filed a complaint with the Deputy Superintendent of Police today morning. We have not filed an FIR, we will file one once we look into the issue.”
EP Jayarajan, Minister for Industry and Sports in the Kerala government also extended his support to the devotees who wish to visit the temple. Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President Mullappally Ramachandran too, said that he is going to support the party in their endeavour and requested people to not turn the temple into a conflict zone, reported The News Minute.
Protests after the SC ruling
The custom of barring women between 10 to 50 years from entering Sabarimala temple was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in a landmark judgement on September 28. While this decision was considered a major victory by women’s rights activists, many people including organisation like BJP Yuva Morcha and RSS have been protesting against this decision. Thousands of BJP Yuva Morcha members from Kerala protested against the verdict in Thiruvananthapuram. On October 10, 5000 Ayyappa devotees under the banner of ‘Ayyappa Samrakshana Samithi’ and various other Hindu organisation assembled to protest against the verdict. The Kerala unit of Shiv Sena had called for a statewide dawn to dusk hartal (strike) on October 1, to protest against the verdict. On October 10, Sabarimala protests called by Hindu Aikya Vedi were staged across 200 strategic locations across the state, which virtually left it paralysed, reported India Today. The BJP-led five day long “Save Sabarimala Yatra” was also flagged off from Pandalam. Kerala’s Shiv Sena group had threatened to commit mass suicide if a women steps into the temple premises. A lot of protests have been going on as such against the verdict in Kerala.