Kannur (Kerala): In a vicarious ‘atonement’ for the perpetrators of the Kathua gang rape, noted Malayalam writer and Sahitiya Akademi award winner, K P Ramanunni, performed a symbolic ‘Sayana Pradakshinam’ (prostration) at a temple in nearby Chirakkal (June 7).
This was a ‘penance’ for the brutal rape and murder of the 8-year-old girl from a Muslim nomadic community inside a small village temple in Kathua district in Jammu and Kashmir in January this year, the writer said.
The girl was reportedly raped by six men who had held her in captivity in a small temple village for a week. She was drugged so that she could be sexually assaulted repeatedly, before being bludgeoned to death, according to police.
BJP affiliated Yuva Morcha activists had gathered at the Sree Krishna temple in large numbers to prevent him from performing the ‘sayana pradakshinam.’ Yuva Morcha, in line with their parent body’s efforts to tone down the heinous Kathua incident, said the writer’s act was only a ‘political stunt.’
But Ramanunni, took a dip in the temple pond and performed the symbolic ritual.
He later told reporters that prayers can be held not only for personal matters but also for social issues. The Kerala Samskritha Sangham (KSS) organised the programme.
Ramanunni’s novel ‘Daivathinte Pusthakam,’ which is about his concerns in a world dominated by communal hatred and stresses for humanity beyond all boundaries, had won him the Sahitya Akademi Award last year.
The progressive writer had donated the prize money of Rs one lakh to the family of Junaid, the teenaged boy who was killed on a train in Haryana by an angry mob.
His first novel ‘Sufi Paranja Katha’ had won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award in 1995.