The Thiruvalla police of Pathanamthitta district in Kerala has booked activist Rehana Fathima for making her children paint on her semi-nude body. She has been booked under the Kerala Police Act, Juvenile Justice Act and Information Technology Act for non-bailable offences.
Rehana Fathima had, on June 19, shared a YouTube video on Facebook of her son and daughter painting on her semi-nude body. The video was accompanied by her post with the hashtag #BodyArtPolitics. According to Rehana, the video was made to reiterate that women need to be open about sex and their bodies in a society where sex and nudity are taboo.
"The feminine body and her nakedness are more than 55 kg of flesh, compared to the male body. Leggings are aroused by the sight of the legs, while the man standing with his knees bent over his chest and his legs half-naked, forces men and women to approach the body in a manner that does not elicit ejection. It is the false sexual consciousness that is currently being given to society. Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so is porn in the eyes of the beholder," she wrote.
However, the activist's video has drawn criticism on social media, with many users pointing out that the act amounts to child abuse. Some have asked if Rehana would be all right with a father doing the same with his young daughter. Though a complaint has been filed against the activist, the police have not booked Rehana under the Protection of Children against Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).
The Thiruvalla police told TNM that the complaint was filed by BJP leader AV Arun Prakash. Rehana has been booked under section 67 of the IT Act (publishing or transmitting or causes to be published or transmitted in the electronic form, any material which lascivious or appeals to the prurient interest or tend to deprave and corrupt persons), section 75 of the Juvenile Justice Act for cruelty to child and section 120 of Kerala Police Act (causing through any means of communication, a nuisance of himself to any person by repeated or undesirable or anonymous call, letter, writing, message, email or through messenger).
Rehana Fathima is a former employee of BSNL. The government organisation had compelled her to retire. She had been arrested and jailed for 18 days for a Facebook post that allegedly hurt the sentiments of Ayyappa devotees. Rehana had also attempted to climb the Sabarimala shrine in October 2018 after the Supreme Court allowed the entry of women, but was arrested.
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