On 22 November, a senior journalist working with a prominent Malayalam newspaper wrote a poignant post on her Facebook account about sexual abuses her classmates had to face in a Madarassa years ago. For more than 24 hours now, journalist VP Rajeena’s Facebook account has been blocked, and she continues to receive threats.
In the Facebook post that became controversial Rajeena reminisced about an ‘Ustad’ or teacher at a Sunni Madarassa in Kozhikode city, who would feel up her male classmates’ private parts. She described how young boys in the class would be summoned by the ‘Ustad’ and asked to unzip their shorts. Rajeena said that even as the boys squirmed, the girls too were left embarrassed and shocked. The ‘Ustad’ would then tell the boys that he was only checking the size, she wrote. She also talked about how such experiences were spread out across her six years of education at the Madarassa and even the girls in her class were not spared. The journalist also alleged that another ‘Ustad’ who was above 60 years would move around the class during power cuts and sexually abuse minor girls.
Ever since Rajeena put up the Facebook post, she was at the receiving end of a barrage of abuses and threats, forcing her to write another post in which she declared that despite everything, she would remain fearless.
"Curses... Abuses... Venom spewing... Let everything befall on me. But I am least afraid because Allah is with me. And so, even if the whole world turns against me, I will not fear. It is becoming clearer that whatever I did was the correct thing. Even my life is at stake. History is replete with such stories of annihilation of voices that dissent. I am ready to face that." (Translated by Firstpost).
“After I put up the Facebook post my account was blocked for some time and it later came back. But from Wednesday morning it was blocked again and has not been reinstated by Facebook,” Rajeena told The News Minute (at the time of writing this on Wednesday night Rajeena’s Facebook account was still blocked, but the account was restored on Thursday morning.)
Rajeena believes she is being targeted for various reasons.
“I am a woman, a Muslim woman that too and a journalist, so such a revelation from me was unacceptable for many. What should have lead to a healthy debate on child sexual abuse has denigrated to a fight against me. I have been called an anarchist and someone with an agenda to defame a particular religion,” she said.
Read some disgusting comments that Rajeena got for her post, which show how rotten some peo
Many prominent voices in Kerala like VT Balram, MA Baby, Sarah Joseph and BRP Bhaskar have come out asking for Rajeena’s Facebook account to be restored and for a sane discussion on Madarassas and other educational institutions. Read what they have to say here.