Months after her controversial entry into the Sabarimala temple, Bindu Ammini says she is still attacked on the cyber space and would keep fighting it.

Physical threats and online slander Bindu Ammini is determined to fight themPhoto: Sreekesh Raveendran Nair
news Women Sunday, September 01, 2019 - 12:42
Written by  Cris

When her turn comes to speak on a stage in Kanakakunnu Palace, Thiruvananthapuram, Bindu Ammini stands up from her chair.  She has been invited to talk at the SPACES Festival of Design, Culture and Politics, organised by DC Books. Bindu tells the other two panelists and the small audience in front of her, that’s the way she is used to, being a lecturer at a college in Kozhikode, standing before her students. She knows her name is a familiar one now, to the people of Kerala. Bindu Ammini, was one of the two women to have entered the Sabarimala temple after a Supreme Court order allowed women in her age group (10 to 50 years) to do so, lifting a previous ban.

Bindu, and Kanakadurga – the other woman -- had to face the wrath of many people who were not happy with the SC order and felt women of menstruating age entering the temple went against tradition. But on Saturday, when she stood up to speak, Bindu was not talking about that gruelling experience. 

She spoke of spaces that have always been blocked for minorities or suppressed sections of the society: such as lower caste people, and women. She was both – a Dalit and a woman. In a shrill and strong voice, she speaks about the IT Act, the section 66A that was struck down, letting anyone make derogatory comments about her on social media and get away with it.

“The attack on cyber space is the biggest problem I face now. My privacy too has been hugely compromised,” Bindu tells TNM after she steps down from the stage.

Two porn videos have been released with women posing as her, she says. “I saw one and the screenshots of the other. I don’t have the strength to see it, it’s affected me so much. I complained to the Koyilandy police as soon as I saw it – and this was soon after I climbed Sabarimala last year. The police have seized the phones of two culprits and sent them notice. But I am not satisfied with it, I don’t feel a proper investigation was done. So I have given another complaint to the DGP.”

In real life too, she faces threats. The Supreme Court had ordered police protection for her when there were many threats on her life, from people who were angry at her for 'breaking tradition'. In her attempt to bring her life back to normal she requested for minimum police protection. “There are people who threaten me that they would show me what they could do when there is no police. At least twice in Kannur, people have tried to attack me even in the presence of police. I have taken a soft approach against the attackers though. They are young people, there is no need to destroy their future.”

Her fight is against the cyber attack that women, who are outspoken, receive all the time. She is going ahead with that fight, she says. 

Also read: Kerala man told he can be ‘treated’ for homosexuality: A dangerous practice that must stop

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