The arrest of activist and film maker Rahul Pasupalan and his wife Resmi Nair in an alleged sex racket case has put the Facebook collective 'Kiss of Love' in a conundrum, as many people have questioned the movement's legitimacy. Rahul and Resmi had always been identified as two of the main organisers.
Following criticism from many quarters, the KoL Facebook page has put out a lengthy post, explaining the group's stand.
"The KOL strike in Kochi on November 2, 2014 was neither an event to propagate any individual's personal ideology, nor meant to install a cult hero. Instead, KOL was aimed at making Kerala discuss gender politics, something it had been shying away from, through new means of protest."
It goes on to say, "It is quite natural that some icons will emerge with every protest. Kiss of Love happened after like-minded youngsters came together after a call by a youth, Harmis Hashim, member of Freethinkers group. Rahul and Resmi were forerunners in organizing the protest and became icons associated with it, but they are not the last word of the movement. Once society takes up a protest, one or two persons can never be identified as leaders of the movement."
The KOL movement points out that the entire collective was being blamed and criticised following the arrests. Though they would not trust media reports completely, they have added that they condemn Rahul for his alleged involvement in human trafficking. The post says if he was innocent, it would be his responsibility solely to prove the same.
"But to condemn an entire movement on the basis of this is not acceptable. If Rahul and Resmi are found to be guilty, this will still not affect KOL."
The post also says, "Philip M. Prasad who was once was an important player in the country's Naxalite movement is now a Sai Baba devotee and has a soft stance towards Hindutva. Does that mean all extremists become like him? A KOL participant contested for the BJP in local polls, so can it be said that BJP is full of KOL supporters?"
The post ends with a request, "We cannot monitor or justify the private lives of people who are a part of the movement. Please don't put on us the burden of the lifestyle or political stance of the individuals who attended the strike."