Kerala activist booked for posting video of her kids painting on half-naked body

South India

Activist Rehana Fathima, who lost her job following her attempt to enter the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple on the strength of the Supreme Court order allowing the entry of women in the age group of 10-50 has courted trouble again.

This time she has been booked by the police after a video of her two children drawing on her half-naked body started circulating on social media. The Pathanamthitta police registered a case, under Section 67 of IT Act (electronically transmitting sexually explicit content) and Section 75 of Juvenile Justice Act (punishment for cruelty to child).

The complaint followed her post on Facebook the video showing her son and daughter painting on her semi-naked body on June 19. A post with the hashtag #BodyArtPolitics accompanied the video.

The video drew criticism from social media users, with many claiming that the act amounted to child abuse. However, the police have not booked her under the Protection of Children against Sexual Offences Act (POCSO).

Fathima justified the post saying it was intended to highlight how women need to be open about sex and their bodies in a society where topics like sex and nudity are taboo. She added that these lessons should begin from one's own home.

"The feminine body and its nakedness are more than 55 kg of flesh, compared to the male body. A male may be aroused by a woman wearing leggings, while the man standing with his knees bent over his chest and his legs half-naked, forces men and women to approach the body in another manner," she wrote on the social media platform.

Fathima added: "It is the fake sexual consciousness of society. Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so is porn in the eyes of the beholder."

News18 quoted veteran psychiatrist Dr CJ John saying that he does not find any obscenity in the artistic interaction involving a mother and her kids, but raised questions over it being made public.

"I don't find any obscenity in this artistic interaction involving a mother and her kids. However, it could have been limited to a private affair. Why should it be filmed and thrown open to the use of the public? Isn't there a shade of child abuse in the act where an adult uses two minors, who are ignorant and innocent of what they are doing, for the sake of a political statement?" John was quoted by News18 as saying.

The 34-year-old activist is not new to controversy. She was arrested and jailed for 18 days for a Facebook post that allegedly hurt the sentiments of Ayyappa devotees.

Her attempt to enter the Sabarimala temple amid tense situation in the hillock two years ago had evoked strong protests. The woman, who worked as a technician in the BSNL, was first suspended from service and later asked to go on compulsory retirement.

Image Credit: News Minute

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