On Friday when Asianet News Chief Coordinating Editor Sindhu Sooryakumar moderated a discussion on whether celebrating Mahishashura Jayanthi could be considered an act of treason, little did she know that she would be subject to a barrage of torrential abuse from both within the country and abroad.
As the anchor of the show, all Sindhu did was pose this query to a panel comprising Congress MP Anto Antony, CPI(M) MP MB Rajesh and Kerala BJP spokesperson VV Rajesh.
Speaking to The News Minute, Sindhu said that almost 98% of the people who called her up and abused her had actually not seen the discussion on television.
Apparently someone had spread the rumour on social media that Sindhu had found no fault with Durga being termed a sex-worker.
The alleged messages on Whatsapp and Facebook reportedly circulated Sindhuâ€™s mobile number too and exhorted one and all to call Sindhu and shower her with the choicest abuses for her supposed act of treason.
Sindhu shudders at the thought of how people could subject her to such verbal sexual abuse without even verifying the truth of such blatant rumours.
She said, â€śEven now while Iâ€™m speaking to you, Iâ€™m getting call alerts. Since Friday night, Iâ€™ve been threatened with beatings, even death with most calling me a sex-worker. I guess I must have had almost 2000 calls till now with people even calling me from abroad.â€ť
When the calls became unbearable, Sindhu filed a complaint on Saturday with the Thiruvanathapuram Commissioner of Police who registered an FIR. She gave them around 20 telephone numbers too. â€śThe police can verify my mobile call list for any documentary evidence needed,â€ť she added.
Sindhu is a very popular face on Asianet News with a huge fan base for her mature and hard-hitting presentation style.
VV Rajesh who had taken part in the said debate as the BJP representative had got in touch with her on Saturday morning and assured her of his full support and coperation. Sindhu asked him to make his statement of support public but Rajesh said that he would first need BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharanâ€™s clearance for the same.
â€śI am yet to hear from that quarter. VV Rajesh says that since Kummanam is currently out of station and will reach Thiruvananthapuram by Monday, only then can any formal announcement can be made by the party exonerating me from all such cooked-up and completely baseless charges.â€ť
SIndhu has posted the link of that particular discussion on Facebook. â€śAnyone who actually takes the trouble to watch the entire debate cannot ever blame me for having made any derogatory remarks against Durga. It was VV Rajesh himself who repeatedly quoted from the pamphlets allegedly circulated in the JNU campus and which was produced in Parliament by Union HRD Minister Smrithi Irani as evidence of sedition against the JNU students. All I did was ask how the act of celebrating Mahashishura Jayanthi could be considered treason against the nation?â€ť she elaborates.
Most of the abusive callers -SIndhu says- identify themselves as BJP or RSS symapthizers: "They all want to know what do I have against Modi, RSS and the BJP?"
These supposed Sanghis have even gone to the extent of branding Sindhu as a sex-worker on Facebook and urged everyone to solicit her services.
She has also forwarded copies of her complaint to Kummanam as well as CPI(M) leaders VS Achuthanandan, Pinarayi Vijayan and Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and also KPCC president VM Sudheeran.
CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan promptly issued a media statement of the party's unconditional support to Sindhu in this regard.
You can view the discussion which triggered off the present controversy here: