Close on the heels of reports of sexual exploitations in madrasas in Kerala, national-award winning filmmaker today claimed that he was also a victim of child abuse at a madrasa.
Ali Akbar's claims comes days after revelations by a Kerala-based woman journalist, who claimed to have witnessed sexual exploitations in madrasas during her childhood.
"I was abused by an ustad (madrasa teacher) when I was eight-year-old," the Malayalam director, who bagged the national award for his non-feature film 'Rabia Chalikkunnu' in 1996, said.
"The incident happened at a madrasa in my native place Meenangadi in Wayanad. I managed to escape from my molester after a fight," Akbar told PTI.
A number of fellow mates at the madrasa also went through such harassments, he claimed.
But no children, including him, dared to reveal those things to parents at that time as the 'ustads' were treated with great respect in traditional Muslim families, he said.
Akbar, also a recipient of Kerala government's award for debutant filmmaker, said he decided to reveal these things now in the wake of online attacks against journalist V P Rajeena following her disclosure about sexual exploitation of children in madrasas.
Rajeena had incurred wrath of the members of her community after she went public on Facebook last week about the happenings in madrasas.
"I hope that my revelations will give confidence at least to one child to stand up and say no to these kinds of exploitations at madrasas," Akbar said.
Akbar has directed over 20 Malayalam movies, including hits like 'Junior Mandrake' and 'Pai Brothers'.