Durga Malathi, an artist, has filed a written complaint with the police alleging that her residence at Pattambi in Palakkad district was pelted with stones on Thursday night by unidentified persons. The stone-pelting comes after her paintings, expressing her outrage over the gangrape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua, were shared on Facebook. The paintings, depicting Hinduism and Hindu symbols, attracted a lot of criticism and verbal abuse. One of Malathi’s paintings depicted the male genitalia on a trident.
She also claimed that she has received several death threats. She shared photographs of the shattered windshield of her vehicle.
Earlier Friday, in a Facebook post, she wrote, “What wrong have I done? I painted pictures of the men who raped a small child. I had to undergo the ignominy of repeating several times through posts and Facebook live that the paintings were not against any religion. I am constantly having to remind myself that I live in a democratic country. If I don’t get justice, I will have to believe that democracy was a big lie.” The post was originally in Malayalam.
Malathi also said that silence from several quarters goes to prove that people somehow believe she deserved the criticism and abuse she is being subjected to.
An officer at the Pattambi police station confirmed that they have received a written complaint from the artist regarding the stone-pelting incident. “Our officers have gone to her house to investigate the incident,” he said.