Scared to stand up to religious hooliganism? She had the courage.

Came across this brilliant video about a young Indian Muslim girl who was getting death threats for not wearing a burqa but refused to bow down and instead spoke up against this hooliganism. And I am more than convinced than ever that religion can make animals out of humans.

For nearly a year, Rayana had been receiving death threats from fundamentalists for not wearing the veil. Now, this 23-year old engineering graduate from Kasaragod has spoken out. “One man called me and threatened me. I got many such threatening letters, in that the man wrote that he will kill me,” said Rayana R Khasi, Engineering Graduate. Rayana received many threatening letters from Muslim fundamentalists for not wearing purdah. One of them clearly states that if she does not fall in line by the 26th of this month, she will be killed. After initial hesitation by the police to register a case, Rayana moved the High Court. The police have now arrested four persons who threatened her. One of the suspects is believed to be a member of Popular Front of India, the radical group that was involved in chopping off a lecturer’s hand last month. “The High Court of Kerala has directed Kasaragod police to give protection to the lady. On that basis, we have given her 24-hour protection,” said P Prakash, Superintendent of Police, Kasaragod. “It is actually Talibanisation, if you insist on a particular dress code,” said K K  Shailaja, State Secretary, All India Democratic Womens’ Association (AIDWA). “This is a violation of not only fundamental rights but also human rights,” said Justice D Sridevi, Chairperson, Kerala Women’s Commission.

It is indeed a very bold step. And we should all support her. As I have written before if you dont speak up when your community is doing something wrong then you have no right to cry foul over victimization later. Further reading: In your face Mr. Religious fanatic! UPDATE: As expected, the state machinery is useless and she was targeted again. Here is the media report about the incident. And I tried finding any latest reports but couldn’t find anything. As usual the media has moved onto more meatier stories to milk.

  • techiemonk

    For getting way out of religious hooliganism India needs to end personal laws first.

    • Aditya Kumar Nayak

      hmm. Can you elaborate that a bit more? Like what laws?

  • Anonymous

    Any how we have to cultivate space amongst us, immediately.

    • Aditya Kumar Nayak

      Welcome to the blog Siddhartha. Thanks for your comment

  • Adhokshaj Bellurkar

    Dude, trusting media and taking a bold step is the WORST thing one can do. I am actually worried about the woman’s life now. Media should really be more responsible, and of course the police more vigilant. I remember Salman Rushdie going underground for a long time because of a fatwa.

    But till when will this woman hide? Till when will she evade? I fully support her right to wear or not wear the burkha. But we really need to find a solution for this problem, or she alone can not make a difference. What do you feel?

    • Aditya Kumar Nayak

      Its true that she is really in danger but lets look at her this way. She is showing us all a mirror. What is happening to her is coz people like you and me bow down to pressure from these goons. 

    • Adhokshaj Bellurkar

      Yes. I am not asking her to stop or to bow down! But, I am saying that it has to be given more support or she will be martyred without any fruitful result! And hence I asked, how?

      • Aditya Kumar Nayak

        Honestly speaking, there is no way out. The odds are against her.

        But as you said she ‘alone’ can not make a difference. Change can come only when we the sane people unite :)

        Coz, the fight she is fighting is very difficult. Had she been fighting a more liberal group or sect, the chances are that she might have succeeded. 

  • Agnivo

    Violence against women is the signature of religion. By enforcing man made rules on the weaker sex, they seem to derive a sadistic pleasure. Women need to rise against this mounting threat and speak out. I hope more and women have the courage to do what this girl has done. Btw, slutwalk is one such way of protesting against violence against women and i have recently written one article on the same, You can visit my blog and give it a read :-)

    • Aditya Kumar Nayak

      Sure. Can you leave your link here so that the readers can follow?

  • noushad

    every one has their own right to follow any religion..practice and profess. this is facilitating by constitution of India article 15,16. even in Islam there is no compulsion( as mentioned in Qur’an). God never look how he/she looks and what he/she wears but looks what is in their heart and action. even, if someone force to wear or strip a particular dress is the violation of human rights, fundamental rights and Islam.
    in this video, see how common Muslim women (who like to wear what they want )has been stereo typing by media .see the visual with the talk ‘”for nearly a year Rayana has been receiving death threats from fundamentalists” here who are the fundamentalist as shown? the women they wear what they wish ?

    i am standing for Rayana to protect her right and shame on this selected stereo tying.