Kissing her husband during a “kiss in the street” protest in Kerala’s Khozikode has landed a government college professor into trouble.
Deeti Damodaran has been pulled up by the college principal and her husband Premchand has been beaten up by Hindutva goons for participating in the ‘ kiss in the street’ protest on 7 December, 2014.
Representational image. AFP
According to this Indian Express report, “Over a month into the incident, Damodaran got a notice from her principal seeking an explanation about her participation in the protest. The action stemmed from a letter purportedly written by a group of anonymous parents to the IHRD director.”
The protest against moral policing in December was marred by sporadic violence in parts of Khozikode with those for and against it coming to blows resulting in a tense situation in the city, following which police chased them away with lathis and took few into custody as well.
Unlike in Kochi, the organisers of the “Kiss of Love” protest had decided to hold the agitation in different streets in Kozhikode, naming the protest as “Kiss in the Street”. At the famed Sweat Meat street called “Mithai Theruva”, famous for “Kozhikode Halwas”, activists allegedly belonging to Shiv Sena, attacked Damodaran who also writes film scripts and her husband after they kissed, expressing solidarity with the “Kiss of Love” protest.
Indian Express quoted Damodaran as saying, “If a section of people find fault with something, we cannot go by that opinion. The agitation was not banned by police. None of the participants was arrested. I had kissed my husband, that too only as a gesture. As a teacher, I ask students to kiss not to kill”
The protest had taken place on a Sunday, so Damodaran also questions the grounds on which the college has claimed that she has violated a code of conduct.
Describing the action against the protesters during the protest as shameful, poet and filmmaker Jayan K Cherian, who was also taken into custody by police, had said, “These people were only exercising their right and they were forcibly taken into custody by police.”
With PTI inputs