Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Dalit teacher faces threats from Hindutva activists after her vain Sabarimala bid

A school teacher from Kerala is facing Hindutva backlash after it was known that she had made a vain bid to visit the Sabarimala Temple on October 22.

Bindu Thankam Kalyani faced protests in front of her school and home from BJP workers and other right-wing groups, from the very next day onward.

Bindu, an embattled Dalit activist tried to go to Sabarimala soon after the Supreme Court verdict allowed women of all age groups to enter the hill shrine.

Bindu, 42-year-old, formerly a teacher with Medical College Campus Higher Secondary School, Kozhikode was transferred to a higher secondary school at Agali, Palakkad last month.

‘Ayyappa believers will not allow you here’

Sangh Parivar workers under the banner of Karma Samithi took out protest marches from the Ayyappa temple in Agali to the Government Vocational Higher Secondary School, where she teaches now.

‘When I arrived at the school on Monday, there were protesters gathered at the gate hurling abuses and chanting, and I had police protection at the gate’ she said.

Sangh Parivar workers are reportedly circulating pamphlets under the banner of Karma Samithi, asking the ‘Ayyappa believers’ not to let her continue with her job.

After joining new school, she has been facing verbal attack from her students for her attempt to go to Sabarimala.

The students were chanting Ayyappa chants, and hooting, inside and outside the classroom whenever I came in and out in a way that harassed me badly

Among them, many used casteist slurs and sexist abuses against Bindu

 I don’t think the students are doing this of their own thought or volition. I think some outsiders from the Sangh Parivar have instigated them to harass and mentally abuse me. I learnt that an ABVP unit has been started on campus. I don’t know if what’s happening has been introduced into the school through this group by RSS and Sangh Parivar members

She told The News Minute.

I informed the principal of the school and PTA (Parents and Teachers Association) and they offered me the support, Bindu said.

Bindu approached the police station and the response was negative. ‘I don’t think they would do anything so that I can continue working safely here’ she said.

Police helps Sangh Parivar

Bindu alleged that it was some officers in the police department who gave minute-by-minute update to media houses regarding the young women devotees attempting to go to Sabarimala.

I still don’t believe it was devotees who obstructed our journey to Sabarimala. The police had warned that there were protesters outside and we should rush back and called us to board their vehicle and escape. I believe that some in the police department want to prevent women from going to Sabarimala else they need not leak every information

She told Malayala Manorama.

Plan to approach the SC 

Bindu is also planning to take legal action against those who have reportedly portrayed her as a Maoist, and also against those who have spread malicious rumours that her name is Bindu Zachariah, and not Bindu Thankam Kalyani.

She  plans to approach the Supreme Court seeking justice in her case.

Earlier on 23rd October, the landlord asked Bindu not to come to the rented house at Kozhikode forcing her to seek refuge in the flat of a friend at 4 am.

“The house owner has asked me not to come to the house as he has been warned by some protesters that they will attack the house if I stay there. I think they want to force me out to the streets where they can attack me.”  Bindu said.


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