The Madrasas of Kerala have been in the news of late for all the wrong reasons. There have been multiple allegations by people of sexual abuse and harassment of children in Madrasas.
First it was Muslim journalist VP Rajeena who spoke out on the issue. She gave a graphic description of her time in a Madrasa where young girls and boys were allegedly sexually harassed by the Ustaads (teachers). Now Malayalam film director Ali Akbar has also come out with these allegations.
Ali recalled the horror he faced four decades ago and supporting journalist VP Rajeena’s claims, alleged that these things were prevalent even today. He argued that he had evidence to prove his claims. He also went on to say that ‘rape’ was the only apt word that could describe the horror he faced at the hands of his Ustaad when he was just 8 years old.
It was journalist VP Rajeena’s Facebook post that brought these alleged activities of Madrasas in the spotlight.
She recalled how one of her Ustaads would make all the boys stand in a queue, unzip their trousers and touch them inappropriately. She also alleged that girls were poked and groped by their teachers during power cuts and night classes.
Rajeena made this revelation through a post on Facebook. She had to face severe backlash for this and she also faced many threats. Her FB account was also temporarily blocked due to mass reporting. Rajeena was accused of falsely accusing the Madrasas and exaggerating. She was also accused of attacking and insulting the religion and she received numerous obscene messages for her outspokenness.
She however retaliated by saying that she was only speaking out the bitter truth.
These confessions by former Madrasa-attendees have shaken the Islamic community and raised a new storm. Though these allegations have been termed false by many eminent Islamic scholars and clerics, it isn’t really convincing.
Why would someone come out against one’s religion if they weren’t actually harassed ? Or why would someone even claim oneself to be a rape victim if they are not ?
The scholars may argue that these are acts to gain publicity but there are better ways to gain publicity than claiming to be a victim of such horrendous acts.
A panel discussion was conducted by senior journalist Rohit Sardana on this issue, where imminent entities tried to get to the bottom of the matter. This debate included Ali Akbar as well where he spoke out more on the issue. This debate also included Muslim leaders which makes this debate a must-watch.
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