Ace director and chairman of Kerala State Chalachitra Academy, Kamal, has opined that the woman actor in the sexual assault case that shook the Malayalam film industry, has not got justice from the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA).
“She didn’t get justice from AMMA, the organisation which she was part of, and hence she quit. Personally, I am with her, declaring solidarity with her. But beyond that, it’s a huge tragedy that she didn’t get justice and she wasn’t accepted in the way she ought to be by the Malayalam film industry,” he says.
But, Kamal believes that the survivor will forever be remembered in history.
“In future, a phase of Malayalam film industry will be remembered in her name. The fact that she, who bravely fought against someone big in the industry while still being part of it, hasn't got the acceptance she deserves has pained me," he shares.
“Any organisation should protect the person who has faced a tragedy, it should ensure justice to that person. AMMA instead hurriedly reinstated Dileep. I am also against AMMA’s act of removing him when he was made an accused in the case; they could have suspended him and brought him back if he was acquitted. The fact that AMMA didn’t stand in favour of the survivor is a tragedy and the Malayalam film industry, as a whole, had to bear this impact. They made Urmila Unni demand that Dileep be reinstated in the AMMA meeting. Now that Honey Rose and Rachana Narayan Kutty have been impleading in the case, in effect there are now four women who are victimised. Why AMMA didn’t make male actors implead or have them demand that Dileep be reinstated?” asks Kamal.
On the silence of senior actors or superstars about the issue, Kamal says that it’s high time that they realised that they should have social commitment.
“I don’t know how to describe the change that the Malayalam film industry has undergone after this. The actors whom people used to admire as idols are no more idols. Why don’t they realise that they have social responsibility? Why don’t they think that they should have social commitment? If they had it, their approach to women wouldn’t have been this."
Kamal went on to add that the resounding silence of the big stars on pertinent issues was disheartening.
"Why don’t they open their eyes and see the acceptance that actors like Prakash Raj get in Kerala, solely because of the firm stands that they take on social issues? The superstars here live in another world. Not only in the survivor’s case, when I was attacked in the name of the National Anthem, when the Malayalam literary icon MT Vasudevan Nair was subjected to an attack for his comments on demonetisation...and now when a novel has been withdrawn owing to protest by a certain group… the superstars resorted to a silence which is obscene. I had even directly told them about this, but their attitude was that these are not issues which affect them. They are living in a world using the mileage which stardom rewarded them. Another thing is that the actors who are powerful, believe that the whole Malayalam industry is under their control,” he says.
Kamal also commented on the misogynistic nature of films made by big stars, a subject that has come under much discussion after actor Parvathy called out the anti-women dialogues in the Mammootty film Kasaba.
“The senior actors justify their anti-women dialogues or roles using a delicate argument that the characters were created by directors or scriptwriters. They could have said this 15 years ago, now since they are controlling the film industry, why can’t they decide the quality of movies that they are part of? They have nothing to lose now, they have gained whatever they can. If they had set a model of being vocal in the actor’s issue, the other actors would have followed it. We should take sides in certain issues, being neutral is obscene. But if they don’t realise it now, the people will make them realise in the near future on the need to take a stand,” he says.