Kerala dancer Sathyabhama gets bail in caste abuse case

Ramakrishnan - brother of famous film actor late Kalabhavan Mani - said Sathyabhama was continuing her racist abuse against him.


Published Jun 15, 2024 | 9:33 PM Updated Jun 15, 2024 | 9:33 PM

Dancer Sathyabhama gets bail in caste abuse case

A special court in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday, 15 June, granted bail to Mohiniyattam dancer Sathyabhama in a caste abuse case under stringent conditions.

Sathyabhama appeared before the Special Court for SC/ST PoA Cases at Nedumangad after the Kerala High Court on 10 June refused to allow her anticipatory bail plea.

The court granted bail on a personal bond of 50,000 and asked her to appear before the investigating officer as and when required and not to influence the witnesses. The court also warned against repeating the offence during the bail period.

Sathyabhama is accused of making racist remarks against a fellow artiste during a purported interview with a YouTube channel. The high court had disposed of her bail application with directions to surrender before the special court at Thiruvananthapuram.

She was booked by the police on a complaint by noted Mohiniyattam dancer RLV Ramakrishnan that her racist remarks during a purported interview with a YouTube channel, were directed at him.

Related: Racism row: Kerala police book dancer Sathyabhama under SC/ST Act

Sathyabhama’s comments

As her remarks created an uproar in Kerala society, Sathyabhama denied Ramakrishnan’s allegations, saying she did not name anyone specifically in the interview.

During the interview, Sathyabhama had said, “The person who performs Mohiniyattam should be ‘mohini’ (enchanting).”

“He has the colour of a crow. This is an art form that requires a stance that keeps the legs wide apart. There is nothing more repulsive than a man who performs with his legs wide apart in this manner. In my opinion, men should perform Mohiniyattam only if they are that good-looking… But his looks are unbearable,” the 66-year-old dancer was heard saying in the interview portions, which were telecast by news channels.

She had also declared that he was not apt for the dance form – Mohiniyattam. Sathyabhama, however, did not specify to whom she was referring. The video, which went viral, was severely criticised by many on social media, cutting across political lines.

Kerala Ministers Saji Cheriyan, R Bindu, and Veena George, Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly VD Satheesan, and BJP state chief K Surendran, among others, had condemned her remarks.

The Kerala Kalamandalam, a premier public institution that preserves the state’s artistic heritage, had also condemned Sathyabhama’s remarks, and opened up its doors to students of all genders, besides inviting Ramakrishnan for a Mohiniyattam recital.

In a Facebook post, Ramakrishnan, who is the brother of famous film actor late Kalabhavan Mani, said Sathyabhama was continuing her racist abuse against him, alleging that he was not qualified to teach Mohiniyattam.

Ramakrishnan completed his studies from the renowned RLV college in Tripunithura and a first-rank holder in MA Mohiniyattam from MG University. He is also a top scorer in MPhil and completed a PhD from Kalamandalam.

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