October 24, 2015

Support brave Kannada woman writer - Chetana Thirthahalli who has been threatened


Dear All,

Forgive me if I've missed something and we've already done this but as a group, could we take a stand in strong and solid support of the brave Kannada woman writer - Chetana Thirthahalli? She's been threatened by right wing trolls with rape and acid attacks and they've also started spamming her son on Facebook. But she says she will not back down and continue to write.

Their objections to her writing are as follows:

That she says she is pro beef eating
That as a Hindu, she writes a column for a publication owned by a Muslim and she mustn't
That she is anti-Hindu and anti-Modi.

She has so far defended this by saying none of the above amounts to being either anti-Modi or anti-Hindu.

Many Sahitya Akademi writers have also defended their protest by saying the same. I say the following:

What if a writer is anti-Modi and anti-Hindu? She has every right to be.
Who gives any group the right to decide what being Hindu is?
And the only decider is if someone is breaking the law and being anti-national in that way.

I feel a strongly worded collective letter would add to the solidarity with writers especially those like Chetana. We could if we agree on this, possibly underline the following:

That it's fine to eat beef or state a preference for it...stating a preference is not breaking the law...and whether or not it is anti Hindu is also up for debate and the prerogative of writers to question. And further, even if a writer chooses to be anti-Modi, that is well within her rights and also...it is the contention of some that their reason for being anti-Modi is his silent acquiescence of the lynching in Dadri and in J and K. That in order for a protest to be valid, the participants have in no way to justify their past credentials of protesting and if some or all of them are anti this government and their protest is political so be it...protests ARE by definition, political. That does not need to be stated or defended.

[. . .]

Revati Laul
Independent journalist and film maker

o o o


Woman Writer Threatened With Rape, Acid Attack After She Questioned Hindu Rituals And #BeefBan
Deepu Madhavan
October 24, 2015

The signs are all here and those who are dismissing them are 'few random incidents' are simply failing at their attempts to veil the obvious.

Chetana Thirthahalli threatened with rape on Facebook


In the latest story emerging from Bengaluru, noted writer, film-maker and script writer Chetana Thirthahalli was threatened with rape, acid attack and other 'dire consequences' on Facebook.

This after she wrote articles questioning Hindu customs in various magazines, including Muslim publications. She was also part of a recent rally in Bengaluru which supported beef consumption and saw attendence from numerous litterateurs and feminists.

For past few months she received numerous threats from various Facebook accounts which surely disagreed with her views that were expressed by her. Finally on Saturday, She lodged a complaint with Hanumantha Nagar police against operators of two Facebook accounts.

In her complaint, the writer said she had been receiving the messages from Jagrutha Bharatha and Madhusudhan Gowda on Facebook for 5-6 months.

"Initially, most of the messages were from fake profiles and were reactions to my posts on Facebook. I ignored them. However, of late, Madhusudhan has been messaging me regularly especially after reading about recent protests where I have been and so on. His threats and messages are communal, anti-feminist and often obs cene," she told STOI.

"With the killing of writer Kalburgi and little progress in its investigation, I do not feel safe now. I may not be anywhere near Kalburgis' stature, but I am afraid. So, I decided to file a complaint, especially when I realized that these people were following my every move, every post," she added.

Police have registered a case under IPC section 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) and 509 (word gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman). They have also referred the case to the cyber crime cell to trace Madhusudhan.

(With inputs from TNN)