“Court Bailing Out Protesters Easily But Not Me,” Rehana Fathima
The activist who tried to enter the Sabarimala sanctum last month and reached the closest to Lord Ayyappa‘s shrine which was 500 metres away, Rehana Fathima spoke to us on the Kerala High Court’s decision of rejecting her anticipatory bail. She told SheThePeople.TV, “Judges are easily giving bails to people who protested at Sabarimala and in the whole area and created problems for people who wanted to enter the temple. The court is not ready to see their crime and rejecting bails of women who went there after the Supreme Court allowed us to enter.”
“What message would people derive out of this move of the Kerala High Court,” asks Fathima.
The Kerala HC on Friday rejected the anticipatory bail plea filed by Fathima. It also directed the Kerala Police to proceed with necessary action against the activist, according to reports. The Pathanamthitta Police on October 22 registered a complaint against the activist for posting allegedly communally divisive content on her Facebook page. The posts allegedly offended the religious sentiments of a collective called Sabarimala Samrakshana Samithi and the police filed the case under IPC section 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), Pathanamthitta CI Sunil Kumar confirmed to TNM.
I don’t understand how my wearing black clothes and putting up the picture on social media offends anybody. I posted that only to support the verdict given by the Supreme Court which allowed women of all age groups to enter the temple. It said ‘Tat Twam Asi’ which translates to ‘You are it’. I don’t know why people thought that I put it up to trigger them.”
Sabarimala Samrakshana Samiti Secretary, P Padmakumar, directly approached District Police Chief of Pathanamthitta to file the complaint. On October 30, Fathima pleaded for anticipatory bail from the Kerala High Court.
Talking about the content on her Facebook page, Fathima told us, “I don’t understand how my wearing black clothes and putting up the picture on social media offends anybody. I posted that only to support the verdict given by the Supreme Court which allowed women of all age groups to enter the temple. It said ‘Tat Twam Asi’ which translates to ‘You are it’. I don’t know why people thought that I posted it to trigger them.”
She said that she only got to know about the complaint through watching television news. “My only problem with the whole issue is why is it that the demonstrators, the people who vandalized our houses and the ones who threatened us publicly to even rape us, are getting bails very easily and I, who abided by the rules, am becoming the soft target?”
On asking if she would ever go back to the temple, Fathima promptly said, “Never”. “Why will I go back to a place so heavily guarded by men who think that women are impure and ask for purification of the route just because we stepped on it. There is no point opening up our hearts in front of people who treat women outrageously.”
Picture credit- Madhyamam