When a Kozhikode-based journalist, VP Rajeena, used her Facebook page to come out and talk about the physical abuse and molestation she suffered during her days studying at a Madrasa when she was younger, she was met with a series of violent, organized verbal abuse on the subject. So much so, in fact, that Facebook had to lock her out of her own profile for all the people that were reporting her to get her to stay quiet.
She put up a post on Sunday that brought to light some 'alleged' instances of inappropriate and immoral behaviour by the Madrasa instructors that she says she witnessed, igniting an unfettered outpouring of threats and abuse on her page, as well as in her personal Facebook messages.
"The abuses came in large numbers, questioning my motive at making these revelations. They pictured it as an attack on the religion. I never tried to generalise this as the behaviour of all Madrasa instructors—I just shared what I experienced. But many others from the community also came out in support. A few shared with me similar experiences which they had kept as secret all these years," Rajeena told the media.
She was blocked out of her account, but managed to recover and regain access to it on Tuesday. But on Wednesday, she was locked out again. She says the reason she chose to make these revelations in such a public space was the injustice she saw Muslim women experiencing. "I thought of making this public after I started hearing the opinions of conservative community organisations on the question of gender equality, related to the Feroke college issue. Muslim women here are facing denial of justice on so many levels, but they do not have a platform to raise these issues within the community. I was forced to use social networks because of this very reason. The suppressed anger of so many years might have also come out through the post," she is reported to have said.
She also believes that the reason she is currently being targeted in social media is because she is a woman that has chosen to speak out—and it irks people that she has done that with a medium that will ensure she is heard (social media). "They are scared of more women speaking out. Instead of targeting me, they should try to ensure that women from the community get justice. Being silent about issues is not the solution," she says.