Rehana Fathima was among the six over-enthusiastic non-Hindus who were determined to enter the shrine of Bhagwan Ayyappa at Sabarimala, post the Supreme Court’s order allowing women of all ages to enter the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine. However, Rehana Fathima’s miseries in life were only aggravated by such a decision, the price of which she continues to pay till date.
Rehana Fathima worked as a telecom technician at the Palarivottam exchange until 2018. However, she was then suspended by BSNL, which instituted an internal inquiry against her following her arrest.
It has now been reported that Rehana Fathima has been sent on compulsory retirement by the national telecom provider, after the inquiry found her guilty of fomenting enmity between communities by posting objectionable pictures and comments on social media.
The BSNL order said it was not acceptable that Ms. Fathima “was ignorant of the consequences of her actions, as public tension was already mounting up at the point of time due to the movement against women entry in Sabarimala.” Hence, her acts were intentional, The Hindu quoted the order as saying.
For those unaware, Rehana Fathima had posted an extremely objectionable photo of hers on Facebook, where she was half dressed as an Ayyappa devotee, and captioned the photo as ‘Tatvamasi’, in an extremely insulting reference to millions of Ayyappa devotees. Following a complaint, the Pathanamthitta police arrested her and sent her to provisional custody.
She was then excommunicated by the Muslim community, and declared an outcast in Islam by the Kerala Muslim Jamaat. According to the Council President A Punkuzhu, Rehana Fathima had been found guilty of hurting Hindu sentiments by trying to defile the sanctum sanctorum of the Sabarimala Temple with her shady offerings, which allegedly included blood stained sanitary napkins.
Now that she has been sacked by BSNL, she should spend the rest of her life contemplating the disaster of an example she made out of herself, waging an unnecessary war against Hindus, their temples, and their traditions. If her social media posts are anything to go by, Fathima was least interested to enter the temple as a ‘devotee’ of Bhagwan Ayyappa, but was rather pumped up to defile the sanctum sanctorum. What sense does it otherwise make for a Muslim to enter Sabarimala, if not with an explicit hatred towards Hindu temples and their traditions?
Fathima, along with her Christian and Communist comrades were unsuccessful in their attempt to enter Bhagwan Ayyappa’s sanctum sanctorum, courtesy the temple priest and scores of devotees who sent the gender activists packing. While gender activism is definitely important, it will at no costs be entertained as an excuse to defile temples with thousands of years of continuous tradition.
In 2018, a majority judgement by the Constitution bench of the Supreme Court had decided that women of all ages would be allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum. The review of the case judgement is now pending before a nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by CJI Bobde.