The letter also asks the CPI (M) to consider the implications of this decision, since AMMA is led by two sitting MLAs from the party.

AMMA on wrong side of anti-sexual violence movement Activists educationists lash out
news Mollywood Friday, June 29, 2018 - 10:47

Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA)’s decision to reinstate actor Dileep into its fold has drawn the ire of several women lawyers, activists, academics, writers and artists, who have expressed their contempt in an open letter.

Reports say that the letter, while condemning AMMA’s decision, urges the Communist Party of India (M) to ‘seriously consider discussing with these elected representatives the implications of their act’ because actors Mukesh and Ganesh, who are Vice Presidents of AMMA are also the sitting MLAs from the ruling Left Democratic Front coalition in Kerala.

This letter comes after seven women actors, including the survivor of the sexual attack allegedly masterminded by Dileep, lashed out AMMA.

While actors Rima Kallingal, Geetu Mohandas and Remya Nambeesan, along with the survivor, resigned from AMMA on Wednesday, actors Revathy, Parvathy and Padmapriya, on Thursday, called for an emergency executive body meeting to get clarity on AMMA’s stance on the issue.

Actor Dileep was arrested in July 2017 for his alleged involvement in the abduction and assault of an industry colleague. He was expelled from the film body and his membership was cancelled after the arrest. On Sunday, as veteran actor Mohanlal took charge as the president of AMMA, the film body decided to take back Dileep into its fold.

The full letter is reproduced below:

With utmost shock and concern we watch the recent development in Malayalam film industry that led to the resignation of four actors from the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) This decision to take actor Dileep back into its fold shows the utter disregard AMMA as an association holds towards the survivor of a sexual assault. Dileep, the seventh accused and the alleged primary conspirator of the incident that involves the abduction and molestation of an actor, is also accused of influencing producers from casting the survivor. In such a crisis, instead of supporting the survivor, the association expressed its misogyny through a travesty, performed in its fundraising fete, with Mammootty and Mohanlal - the superstars as its highlights, ridiculing the Women’s Collective that was formed to address women’s issues in the industry. This, is not conducive to a civilised society and cannot be the accepted culture of an industry that has a formative role in determining of the consciousness of a society.

Malayalam film industry has its compelling claim to treating cinema as a responsible medium, at par with many important film cultures of the world. Given the context, this behavior is unexpected and unacceptable from a trade union that claims to represent the majority of its actors. It is outrageous that AMMA firmly chooses to be on the wrong side of the movement against sexual harassment within the film industries worldwide in the wake of the #MeToo campaign and Harvey Weinstein follow ups in the Hollywood.

What adds to our worries is that the body is headed by people’s representatives who associate with the ruling political party in Kerala. We request CPIM to seriously consider discussing with these elected representatives the implications of their act. It is also sad to point out that AMMA did not consider the potential of exploring the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, a legislative act in India that seeks to protect women from sexual harassment at their place of work in this specific case or during any instances of harassment charges reported by women within its collective.

We extend our whole-hearted support to the members of the Women’s Collective who have resigned from the Association, pledging support to the survivor and also trying to take pro-active roles in engaging with women’s question in the industry. We appreciate the statement issued by AIDWA state committee in this regard and hope CPI(M) and other organisations look into this seriously and communicate to AMMA the preposterousness of this absurd action. We also request the Government of Kerala to take immediate action to protect the survivor and to be cautious about chances of tampering with evidence in the ongoing case involving Dileep.

Uma Chakravarti Feminist Historian, Documentary Film Maker

Deepa Dhanraj, Documentary Film maker

Susie Tharu, Former Professor of English and Cultural Studies, The English and Foreign Languages University.

Flavia Agnes, Women’s Rights Lawyer,

Tejaswini Niranjana, Trustee, Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore

Arunima, Professor Centre for Women’s Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University

A.K. Ramakrishnan, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Mary E John, Senior Fellow, Centre for Women’s Development Studies, New Delhi

Janaki Nair, Professor, Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Anandhi, Professor, Madras Institute of Development Studies

 Deeptha Achar, Professor, Faculty of Arts, M S University, Baroda

 Rashmimala, Visual Artist,Vadodara

Nilima Sheikh, Artist, Baroda

Nalini Malani, Artist, Mumbai

Deepak Mathew, Professor and Head, Department of Design, IIT Hyderabad

Lalitha, Writer, Anveshi Research Centre Hyderabad

Dr. Veena Shatrugna, Medical Scientist, Hyderabad

Dr. Janaky Abraham, Delhi University

Dr. Suneetha, Co-ordinator Anveshi Research Centre Hyderabad

Satish Poduval, Professor, The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad

T.T. Sreekumar, Professor, The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad

Kaneez Fathima, Civil Rights Activist Hyderabad

K Anuradha,  Aman Vedika , Hyderabad

Ranjit T, The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad.

Khalida Parveen, Activist Amoomat Society Hyderabad

Sarah Mathews,  Sankalp, Women’s Support Alliance, Hyderabad

Madhumeeta Sinha, The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad

V J Varghese, University of Hyderabad.

Asma Rasheed, The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad

Ratheesh Kumar, Assistant Professor, JNU, New Delhi

Satyavati K.,  Bhumika Women’s Collective, Hyderabad

Rachana Mudraboyina, Telangana  Hijra Intersex Samiti

Sajaya,Caring Citizen’s Collective, Hyderabad

Nikhat Fathima, Activist, Chennai

Uma Bhrugubanda , The English and Foreign Languages University

Vasudha Nagaraj, Advocate, Hyderabad

Tejaswini Madhubhushi ,    Hyderabad for Feminism

Gitanjali Joshua,  Hyderabad for Feminism

Seetha Lakshmi, Independent Researcher and Consultant Hyderabad

Shalini Mahadev,   Hyderabad for Feminism

Sujatha Sureppally, Professor, Satavahana University

Rama Melkote, Former Professor of Political Science,   Osmania University, Hyderabad

Dr.Arathi. PM, Assistant Professor, Council for Social Development, New Delhi

Sherin B.S. English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad

Deepti Sreeram, Research Associate, MAHE, Manipal

Ria De, Research Scholar in Film Studies, EFLU Hyderabad

Praveena Thali, Research Scholar in Women’s Studies, University of Hyderabad

Ummul Fayiza, PhD Candidate, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Devi, Cultural Activist Hyderabad

Ashalatha, Women’s Rights Activist, Hyderabad

Vimala Morthala Writer, Activist, Hyderabad

V Sandhya National Convener POW

Girija B Independent Researcher

Ms. Sunitha, Ankuram Women and Child Development Society Hyderabad

Ms. Sumithra, Ankuram Women and Child Development Society

Shraddha Chickerur, Hyderabad for Feminism

Sreerag P. Research Scholar& Student Union President, University of Hyderabad,

Chaitanya Pingali, Writer, Lyricist, Hyderabad

Shefali Jain, Assistant Professor, Ambedkar University, New Delhi

Abha Bhaiya, Sangat South Asian Feminist Network, NewDelhi

Gautami Challagulla- Screenwriter, Independent Film maker, Hyderbad

Pamela Philippose Journalist and Researcher, New Delhi

Manjusha Madhu, PhD scholar, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Gayatri Nair, Tata Institue of Social Sciences, Hyderabad

Thulasi, Journalist, Hyderabad

Brinelle D’souza, Asst. Professor, Tata Institue of Social Sciences

Padma Velaskar Prof (retd) ,Tata Institute of Social Sciences

Bindu Menon, Lady Shri Ram College for Women, New Delhi

Professor SAMITA SEN, Dean, Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies, Jadavpur University

Nisha Biswas, scientist and activist

Julia George Streevani

Kamayani Bali Mahabal Feminist and Human Rights Activist

Geeta Seshu, Journalist, Mumbai

Lekha Narayanan, Artist, Hyderabad

Sharmila Samant Artist, Associate Prof, SNU, Dept of Arts,

Bittu Karthik, University of Hyderabad

Dipti Tamang, Darjeeling Government College

Jhuma Sen, O.P. Jindal Global University

Sadhna Arya, Satyawati College, University of Delhi.

S.Seetha Lakshmi   Independent Researcher and Consultant Hyderabad


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