Kerala

Social media reaches out to complainant nun

Hundreds of women took to social media on Wednesday to write letters — handwritten notes in most cases — to the Catholic nun who had accused bishop Franco Mulakkal of raping her in a show of solidarity, sistership, empathy, and resistance.

There were also those who addressed their letters to all the nuns who have been at the receiving end of the Church’s wrath for standing up for one of their own. Such personal notes, posted with hashtags such as #WithTheNuns and #Avalkkoppam, soon evolved into a campaign. Some of them encouraged others to write to the sisters at solidarity2sisters@gmail.com.

The campaign was in the wake of a trial court, the additional sessions court in Kottayam, acquitting the bishop of all charges against him.

“In the darkest of times, we feel a kind of scorching loneliness that cannot be done away by any words of solace or any promises of better days ahead. It can get deafeningly loud, the injustice and the hopelessness we feel…. I wish to sit with you only to remind you that all you need to do at the moment is honour your breath. Your breath is invaluable! Stay here. And when you can or feel like, look around you. You will find us, an army by your side. We are here to walk this thorny path with you, holding space for you, fighting for you and breathing with you. In a world that has gotten used to treat us as dispensable nothings, it is a revolution just to stay right here and breathe…. (sic),” wrote actor Parvathy Thiruvothu, vowing never to give up the fight for justice and dignity. She describes herself as the nun’s sister/friend/person.

Actor Rima Kallingal wrote a shorter note to the sisters, thanking them for inspiring her “in the deepest dark moments”.

Actor-director Geetu Mohandas’s was also a note of gratitude for “for showing grit and determination to fight and never give up even when the odds are against you…(sic)”. Filmmaker Leena Manimekalai quoted Maya Angelou to stress that “your voice is ours, your strength is our lantern”. Playback singer Chinmayi assured the nun of support and told her that “there will be light at the end of this really dark tunnel”.

There were film personalities, journalists, academics and other users of social media who joined the campaign pledging solidarity with the nuns. Many men, including popular historian Manu S. Pillai, also showed support by tweeting some of the letters with the hashtag, #WithTheNuns.


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Printable version | May 29, 2022 2:32:26 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/social-media-reaches-out-to-survivor/article38293151.ece