Do flash mobs provoke religious fundamentalists? The row over the flash mob which occurred in Malappuram on December 1, as the part of AIDS awareness campaign organized by district health department gives us a clarification to this question. Though the flash mob which was performed by three Muslim girls from Malappuram has got the widespread attention of the public, a group of religious fundamentalists has lost their temper and resorted to a series of verbal abuse on social media platforms against the girls.
The video of the performance in which three girls with Hijab danced to Jimmikki Kammal, has gone viral on social media platforms for all the wrong reasons on December 3. The self-appointed guardians of the religion, worrying about the current society, declared that such people are a “curse to the religion”.
Voicing against the malicious verbal attacks and campaigns against the three girls, Students Federation of India (SFI) stepped into the new form of protest and extended the solidarity to the girls. SFI has organized flash mobs in all the district centres on Friday, raising the slogan “Humanity is the answer to the fatwa of religious fundamentalists”.
The Malappuram leg of the flash mob was conducted at Kottakkunu in Malappuram, the same venue where the three girls had performed on December 1. The flash mob was followed by a gathering which was attended by hundreds of students.
Speaking to Newsclick, SFI Malappuram district President Shafeeq NM said: “Personal freedom cannot be subdued to religious forces”.
Recollecting some of the previous incidents, Shafeeq told “Earlier also some girls who are into social and cultural activities were targeted by religious fundamentalists. In the initial phase, Manisiya and Rubiya had faced the social boycott from her community because they are into “Hindu dance forms”.
Mansiya VP and Rubiya, the duo from a Muslim family in Malappuram who excel in classical dance forms, had faced social exclusion from their own community for learning and performing “Hindu dance forms”.
“Education and social movements have changed the picture of the district. Some religious and repressive groups who have their own vested interests in politics are not happy with the social upliftment of the Muslim community in the District”, Shafeeq added.
The flash mobs which have attracted thousands of viewers were conducted under the leadership of respective district committees of SFI.
Questioning the self-appointed apostles of the religion, writer and activist MN Karassery asked: “would there be a similar outcry if boys in prayer caps danced”.
“I am totally with the girls who performed the flash mob. What some of these men on social media have displayed is pure male chauvinism. Will they do the same if three Muslim boys with beard and prayer cap dance on the same road?” he added.
However, the Women’s Commission of Kerala registered a suo motu case against the online abusers on Wednesday. "It is an insult to Kerala's culture to engage in propaganda that insults the dignity of women," the Commission said in a statement. Strict action would be taken against those who engaged in such activities, the statement added.