Director of films such as Aaram Thampuran and Narasimham and The King, Shaji Kailas put out a Facebook post on Friday, saying that he and his wife, Chithra Shaji Kailas -- former actor Annie -- are not part of a statement released by the BJP concerning Sabarimala.
"We haven't signed this statement or been aware of it. Those who used our names without our permission should correct it. We do not agree to the demands or opinions made in that statement," he wrote.
The BJP statement reportedly is against the prohibitory orders at Sabarimala following the Supreme Court verdict allowing entry of young women at the Ayyappa temple there. It is also in support of the release of BJP leader K Surendran, who was released on bail on Friday. The BJP had reportedly claimed that the statement has been signed by artistes in the cultural field.
The other names include historian MGS Narayanan, professor Dr KS Radhakrishnan, RSS leader P Parameswaran, MP-actor Suresh Gopi, writer S Rameshan Nair, author Madampu Kunjukuttan, writer VR Sudheesh, writer UK Kumaran, among others.
VR Sudheesh also took to Facebook on Friday to say that he has not signed the statement. "It is not my stand. This has malicious intentions," his post said.
K Surendran was granted conditional bail by the Kerala High Court on Friday in the case of a plot to attack a 52-year-old woman at Sabarimala on November 6. He was charged with conspiracy in an attempt to commit culpable homicide (sec 308) and use of criminal force to outrage the modesty of a woman (sec 354) of the IPC.
Surendran was granted the bail on Friday morning under four conditions, as reported by LiveLaw. He cannot enter Pathanamthitta district, where Sabarimala is situated, for a period of two months. He must also execute a bond of Rs 2,00,000, surrender his passport before a trial court and shall not be involved in any other similar offences.
BJP PRO, Sandeep Vachaspati, responded to Shaji Kailas's post with another Facebook post, insinuating that the director appears to have forgotten about signing the statement and goes on to add a photo of the said signature. The picture shows a letterhead saying NDA's signature collection 'to stop the attempts of the state government to destroy Sabarimala and to protect the rituals."
The post, laced with variations of popular punch lines from Shaji Kailas's movies, says: "Do you remember this signature? Since you give a lot of such signatures, you may not remember." He then goes on to list a few random "clues" as Nemom Pushparaj's daughter's wedding, Al Saj, Innova car, December 2 Sunday, Sabarimala, support. "Even now, if you don't remember there's only one thing to say. Shit. One more thing. It's not media cell, it's cultural cell."