Protests stop women at Sabarimala doorstep

Rehana Fathima to seek legal recourse

Activist Rehana Fathima being escorted by the police to Sabarimala Temple on Friday.

Activist Rehana Fathima being escorted by the police to Sabarimala Temple on Friday.   | Photo Credit: PTI

A day after her unsuccessful attempt to climb the holy hillock, Sabarimala, along with a battery of policemen, activist Rahana Fathima looks to continue her fight by seeking legal recourse against the chief priest of the Sabarimala temple and the protesters.

‘‘I have decided to sue the chief priest, who along with the others joined the protesters and invoked my Muslim identity to call for purification of the hill route which I travelled. Considering that the hill shrine is the most-known secular place of worship, their real intention was to outrage the religious feelings and thus cause a communal riot,’’ Ms. Fathima, who works as a telecom technician with the State-run BSNL. This, according to her, was one of the factors that made her change the decision and call off the attempt half way.

Despite having failed in her endeavour, Ms. Fathima does not want to attempt it again. ‘‘I will not visit the temple ever again even if given a chance. For, people out there including the chief priest harbour castiesm and untouchability in their mind, as was evident during their protests at the Sannidhanam last day,’’ Ms. Fathima said.

Besides the chief priest, Ms. Fathima is also looking to initiate action against the protesters under provisions of the POCSO Act for using children as human-shield. But for the hapless kids who were made to lie down and protest even amidst the inclement weather conditions, I would have definitely completed the temple darsan. Just before returning, I had a discussion with Kavitha, the journalist from Andhra, to this effect and it was our joint decision to beat a retreat. Else, these Sangh Parivar goons would have kept assaulting these kids for hours on end,’’ she said.

Action will be against those fabricating news against the contents in the `Irumudikettu’ she had carried while climbing the hillock.

While beginning to climb up the, Rehana Fathima was so upbeat on the prospect of turning a new chapter in Kerala’s history.`` I was convinced that it was now or never. Once I could make it, even if with a bit of difficulty, it should make the route clear for several woman who are desperate to get there’’.

Rahna had reached Pampa along with her partner Manoj K Sreedhar around 12 midnight on Friday and joined Kavitha Jakkal, a journalist from Andhra at the Pampa Ganapathi temple on a direction by the police the next day. She had travelled upto Nilakkal by a friend’s car and boarded two state-run buses before reaching Pampa.

Residing at an apartment in Kochi with her partner and two kids, Rehana had earlier hit headlines when she had posted pictures of herself with watermelons covering her breasts. The post was in protest to a controversial remark by the teacher of a teacher’s training institute in Kozhikode regarding his women students.

A key figure in the 2014 Kiss of Love campaign, she also featured in the Pulikali festival in Thrissur.

 

 

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2020 6:10:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/rehana-fathima-to-seek-legal-recourse/article25274502.ece

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