Director Vinayan had on Facebook criticized Lal’s recent blogpost on how we could continue to live when the deaths of our valiant heroes guarding our country’s borders are seemingly downplayed juxtaposed to frenzied media coverage of supposedly patriotic protests raging in universities across the country.
It is now the turn of a few prominent writers in Malayalam to oppose the actor’s viewpoint on nationalism.
On Wednesday, the State Sahithya Academy Award winner Benyamin through a Facebook post indirectly criticized Mohanlal’s views on what constitutes patriotism.
Benyamin pointed out that there was danger lurking in a statement which said that loving soldiers alone is what patriotism is all about. The writer said the soldiers are a group that has to function within the confines of a democracy.
He seemed to taunt Lal with this: “The countries who accorded additional honour, respect and power to armed forces has always landed themselves in trouble. To understand this, one need not go farther than take a peep into our neighboring country.”
He also seems to gently chide the actor with a nudge into history: “When at the end of a long-winding day, you sit down for a round of light-hearted banter and drinks to ease the strain of penning blogs, maybe you could munch your way through the names of a few soldiers who later rewrote history : Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Mussolini, Idi Amin, Marshal Tito, Colonel Gaddafi, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Pervez Musharraf. Every one of them was a patriot indeed.”
Writer NS Madhavan too tweeted a picture of Mohanlal with a couple of drinks for company with the comment: “Who is stopping him from reading the ‘Letters to a Daughter’ (Nehru’s letters to Indira) in the evenings?” followed by another tweet: “Mangalasseri Neelakandan (the hero portrayed by Mohanlal in the Malayalam blockbuster ‘Devasuram’) should give up power.”
Actor Joy Mathew was another celebrity who had posted on Facebook against the Centre’s haste in stamping all protestors as anti-nationals.