“Along with studies, she has proven her talents in singing, extempore and acting. Always a first rank holder in school and the madrassa. She has excelled at district and sub-district levels. She was the fifth rank holder in the public examination conducted by madrassas. And yet, she was expelled from the madrassa from the current academic year, because she sported a bindi while acting for a movie. What to do! Lucky, they didn’t sentence her to get stoned to death,” wrote Ummer Malayil in his Facebook post on Thursday night and also shared a photograph of his daughter wherein she was wearing a chandana pottu (bindi made of sandal paste).
This post grabbed a lot of attention, support and filthy remarks too.
To be mentioned here, the girl in context, Henna Malayil is a fifth grade student who is starring in a short film named ‘Daksha’ that her father’s friend, Noorul Eman is making.
This multi-talented young girl was lauded for singing Justin Bieber’s ‘Baby’ as her father went live on Facebook. After her father shared her photo in bindi, a lot of folks who love to wear religion on their sleeves started flooding the comment section with hate statements. Some even thought she didn’t deserve to go to a Madrassa.
Talking about her acting skills and fate of ‘Daksha’ whose one more schedule is yet to be shot, Noorul says,
“She’s a very talented little girl. As good in academics as she is in music and acting. But she has been expelled for acting in my film. The mahallu (prayer centre) had a problem. But only the first schedule of the film is over now. Another schedule is yet to be shot.”
The father, Ummer denies making any remarks on what talks are going with the Madrassa right now. But he hasn’t surrendered to the nonsensical trolls and has instead come up with a befitting reply.
“To those who are trying to fish in troubled waters, do not celebrate this. This is not a global issue. Do not try to tarnish a religion by taking advantage of such a situation. This is purely an isolated, local issue. As you say, I am not a man who opposes my community. I am 100% a believer. Along with loving my religion, I support and respect other religions. I love humanity.”
“To those who showered me with abuse, did you even try to find out the truth behind the situation by talking to me on Messenger? After then, you could have sung your songs of abuse and trolled me with video clips and what not.”, He has posted again earlier this day. He has further added, “Isn’t this common, how children, along with studies, sing and act? My protest was only about this,”.
If we look into the matter without the specs of religion on, we can clearly see why it deserves all our concern.
Celebrities (particularly the women) are often shamed when they do something that their ‘role’, the ‘character’ that they play demands but is on the other hand condemned in religious scriptures. But now, a grade 5 child has been victimised.
We have seen legendary actors playing a character of another faith on screen and dressing the way the character should. We’ve appreciated such roles and looked upto such artists. But what went wrong this time that the hatred didn’t spare a child? Instead of applauding her talent, people saw how she ‘violated’ religious principles.