A 12-year-old child actor from Kerala is receiving flak on social media after she posted a video of her driving a car recently.
On March 25, Meenakshi, who has acted in films such as Amar Akbar Anthony and Queen, can be seen driving a car in what looks like a rubber plantation. Meenakshi will be seen essaying the part of Manju Warrier’s character as a child in the upcoming Malayalam film Mohanlal. The video she shared on social media is apparently a promotional one for the film.
The 1.1 minute video shows Meenakshi driving a car with the number plate 2255. At one point, she gets out of the car and recites actor Mohanlal’s popular dialogue from the movie Rajavinte Makan, “My phone number is… 2255,” imitating the actor’s gestures.
“I have now driven a car with the same number!” Meenakshi says, breaking into the song Njan janichennu kettoru from the movie Mohanlal.
Meenakshi then asks the viewers to watch the film, which is scheduled to release on April 14.
While the video has by now received more than 98k views with several users lauding Meenakshi for driving a car, the child actor has also drawn flak for the very same reason.
A user cautioned Meenakshi against posting such videos, considering that she is a minor and has not attained the legal age for driving.
“Please don’t put such videos anymore. You are supposed to be a role model for others, so please refrain from such acts,” one user commented.
“Should you be driving without a license?” asked another.
“Driving without a license is illegal, be it on the roads or on any private land,” wrote another.
“How have you evaded legal action even after videographing a minor driving?” asked another user.
With her act receiving flak from several users, the admin of the official page clarified that Meenakshi drove the vehicle on a private property and that entry to the area was subject to taking permission from the owner. The admin of the page also said that the video was posted after making sure that there were no legal issues involved.
So, does Meenakshi’s act warrant legal action? When TNM reached out to an official at the Motor Vehicles Department of the state, the official said that although a minor driving a vehicle is illegal, the department cannot initiate action if the incident happens on private property.
“We can definitely take action if a minor drives on the road. But if a minor drives on private land, which is not accessible to the general public, then we cannot intervene,” the official pointed out.