We supported the idea, not the individuals behind Kiss of Love, supporters say

Soon after the arrests of Pasupalan and Nair on Wednesday, social media users began to troll supporters of the KoL campaign
We supported the idea, not the individuals behind Kiss of Love, supporters say
We supported the idea, not the individuals behind Kiss of Love, supporters say
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Supporters of the Kiss of Love campaign are defending their ideals in the face of online abuse following the arrest of the campaign’s key figures, a husband-wife duo – Rahul Pasupalan and Resmi R Nair – in connection with a sex racket.

Soon after the arrests of Pasupalan and Nair on Wednesday, social media users began to troll supporters of the KoL campaign. The trolls are of two types – those who were against the movement since it was organized and are now branding all those associated with KoL as involved in the sex racket, and supporters of the movement who now want nothing to do with it.

This is the kind of abuse that is heaped on KoL supporters :

“Now to protest against the arrest of the promoter  (sex pimp) of KOL, what kind of protest will be organised by KOL activists,”

“So this was the secret agenda of KOL, their aim was to trap poor girls,”  says some of the trolls

Thrithala MLA VT Balram, one of the prominent politicians who supported KoL, wrote on his Facebook page that he still supported the movement as he backs the ideology not the individuals who participates in it.

“The support given to KOL and beef fests was on the basis of their time relevant ideologies. That support was not for its organisers or the individuals who participated in it. The protests against the challenges which hinder the basic freedom of people in the name of tradition, culture, morality and beliefs will be supported again,” he wrote.

The Kiss of Love graduated into a national campaign following the first event organized in Kochi on November 2, 2014, as a protest against ‘moral police’ who vandalized a restaurant claiming that ‘immoral’ activities were being carried out.  Being two of the key organizers, Rahul Pasupalan and Resmi R Nair were catapulted into the limelight. Pasupalan was even shortlisted by Manorama News for its ‘Newsmakers’ of 2014 list along with MP Shashi Tharoor and former ISRO chairperson K Radhakrishnan.

The official KoL page has distanced the movement from Pasupalan and Resmi by claiming that the couple were not the leaders of KoL and that the community had nothing to do with these allegations. They have also said that if Pasupalan and Nair are found guilty, it would not affect KOL.

Social activist and student B Arundathi who played a key role the KoL protest in Hyderabad Central University was trolled badly on Facebook. She told the media that KoL was neither organized by any leaders nor any organization.

“If two persons who participated in KoL got arrested, why should all throw stones at everybody who supported KoL? If a politician is corrupt, does that mean all members of his party are corrupt?” she said.

"Arundhathi, please protest against the police who arrested an innocent man who earned a living through self- employment of selling his wife," says a troll in her facebook page.

CPI (M) leader and Lok Sabha MP MB Rajesh who was also a supporter of KoL, was also not spared by the trolls. Some of BJP and Yuva Morcha leaders had asked CPI (M) and DYFI workers to apologise for supporting KoL.

On Thursday Rajesh wrote posted a status on Facebook, saying that people who troll showed their culture and that he was not bothered by online abuse.

“I was against moral policing; my support was not for the any one’s activities. People who commit crime will face the legal actions. These people who criticize the KoL supporters now give respect to Asaram who sexually exploited minor girls. Don’t try to threaten me for my support against moral policing,” he wrote.

Deedi Damodaran, another activist who was heavily criticized for participating in KoL movement has also told media that she believed in the views of KOL not the individuals in it.

Meanwhile Home Minister of Kerala Ramesh Chennithala told the media that a big racket underpinned the case in which Rahul and Resmi was arrested.  He also said that the role of KoL movement will be enquired into but added “I don’t think all who are in the movement have connection to this case as many allege.”

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