A Malayalam television news anchor Sindhu Sooryakumar is receiving a series of threatening calls and abuses from BJP and RSS after she hosted a show to discuss whether worshiping the mythological demon god Mahishasura amounted to treason.
On Friday night, she moderated a spirited discussion on a popular Malayalam TV news where the members of Congress, BJP and Left parties debated whether celebrating Mahishasura, a common custom among certain tribes in India, is enough to accuse students of Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University of “anti-national” activities.
Since then, chief coordinating editor of Asianet News TV says that she has received over 2,000 abusive calls on her cellphone, allegedly from activists and sympathisers of various pro-Hindutva groups, accusing her of calling Durga a “sex worker” during the show.
“Most of the abusers called me a prostitute and abused me.They said they won’t let me live in peace and will destroy my family.
“There are no signs of the abusive calls stopping. When people call from their own mobile phones, it shows they have no fear of the law. The police have filed charges against a few of them. If the charges against them are not strong, I will move court with a private complaint. I stand by what I said. I will not allow anyone to challenge my freedom of speech and right to live,” she said.
According to Indian Express, Durga a “sex worker” were read out by V V Rajesh, BJP state secretary, while quoting from pamphlets that he claimed were distributed on the JNU campus and later produced in Parliament by HRD Minister Smriti Irani.
Based on a complaint filed by the journalist on Monday, Kerala Police arrested five people (all are member of BJP, RSS and Hindu groups, including Sri Rama Sena).
Sooryakumar added that BJP-RSS leaders of the state have also remained silent. “All they have done is issue a general statement about freedom of the press,” she said.
Sooryakumar said some of the callers admitted they were “either RSS or BJP activists”.
“Most of them asked me three questions: Why do you dislike Narendra Modi. Why can’t you acknowledge RSS. What is your problem with the BJP.”
The state’s journalists’ union, meanwhile, organized a protest and a march to the Kerala Secretariat on Monday, seeking action against the culprits.