New Delhi, Mar 1: In a shocking incident, an anchor of a Malayalam TV news show, received more than 2,000 threat calls after she moderated a discussion on whether celebrating Mahishasur Jayanti could be considered an act of treason.
Sindhu Sooryakumar, chief coordinating editor of Asianet News TV said that the callers abused and threatened her and also accused her of calling Durga a "sex worker" during the show.
Three others are said to be the members of Sri Rama Sena, a pro-Hindutva group involved in many cases of moral policing.
"I have been getting a call every minute. The main allegation is that I abused Durga, calling her a sex worker. Most of the abusers called me a prostitute and abused me. Some threatened me while others didn't even know what the charge was.
I got a call this morning from someone asking whether I was Durga. Another person called me sometime ago, saying I had posted something against Durga on Facebook, and that he wanted to abuse me for that," Sooryakumar was quoted as saying in the daily.
Meanwhile BJP's Kerala chief Kummanam Rajasekharan on his facebook post said that his party "has nothing to do with this issue". He also said that "The BJP is a party that supports freedom of the press."
Smriti Irani, who is a BJP member of the Rajya Sabha and human resource development minister, had read on Thursday in the house a pamphlet that purported to call for a celebration of 'Mahishasur Martyrdom Day'.
The pamphlet, which had allegedly been circulated by a Leftist student organisation in the JNU campus, made certain derogatory references to Goddess Durga.
The minister cited the pamphlet to bolster her contention as to how wrongly and "depravedly" students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) had been using their "freedom of speech".
Responding to the controversy over her statement on Durga and Mahishasur, union minister Smriti Irani on Friday asserted she made the statement with a lot of pain because she had been asked to explain the truth.
"I read it because I was asked to explain what is the truth. I said it with a lot of pain. I myself am a practising Hindu; I myself am a Durga worshipper. These are authenticated documents from the university itself," Irani said.