More than a week after Malayalam filmmaker Sanal Kumar Sasidharan's film Sexy Durga was arbitrarily dropped from the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), the Malayalam film fraternity has finally come out with a statement.
Several members of the film fraternity, including Aashiq Abu, Rajeev Ravi, Lijo Pallissery, Dileesh Pothan, Geethu Mohandas, Rima Kallingal, Soubin Shahir, Vidhu Vincent and Syam Pushkaran released a joint statement on Thursday, condemning the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry's move.
The ministry decided to take off Sexy Durga and Rajiv Jadhav's Marathi film Nude from the list of films to be screened at the 48th edition of the festival that begins on November 20. The move has now backfired and created much furore in the country, with Sanal even approaching the Kerala High Court seeking redress.
Now, in what can be seen as a much-delayed statement coming from the Malayalam film industry, they have condemned the ministry's decision calling it a "one-sided and fascist" move.
"It was a jury headed by the internationally acclaimed director Sujoy Ghosh, that selected the two movies for the Panorama section of the festival, thereby making these two films the country's representation at the festival. Now the central government has sabotaged this," reads the statement in Malayalam.
Sujoy Ghosh had stepped down from their positions recently, protesting against the central government's move. Commenting on the exit of members of the jury, the statement said that the jury was insulted, which has culminated in some members stepping down.
"By striking down both these films that were selected by an impartial jury, the central government has in fact questioned the jury's decision," the statement said.
Soon after the controversy broke out, Sanal had himself questioned the silence from the Malayalam film industry.
"It is a shame that no one from the Kerala film fraternity or any film activists or any Malayalam media makes any comment against the arbitrary removal of two films from the list of Indian Panorama by the I&B Ministry. Even some of the jury members have made public statement against this injustice. Where has gone our so called intellectuals now? Where is your slogans for the right to freedom and expression?" Sanal had said in a Facebook post.
Even when the Malayalam film fraternity has condemned the act, it is only a section of the industry that has released a statement. The big names of the Malayalam film industry are yet to speak up on the issue.
Read the full statement from Malayalam film fraternity here:
เดธเดเดฏเตเดเตเดค เดชเตเดฐเดธเตโเดคเดพเดตเดจ. เดธเดจเดฒเตโ เดเตเดฎเดพเดฐเตโ เดถเดถเดฟเดงเดฐเดจเตโ เดธเดเดตเดฟเดงเดพเดจเด เดเตเดฏเตเดค เดธเตเดเตโเดธเดฟ เดฆเตเดฐเตโเด, เดฐเดตเดฟ เดเดพเดงเดตเต เดธเดเดตเดฟเดงเดพเดจเด เดเตเดฏเตเดค เดจเตเดฏเตเดกเต เดเดจเตเดจเต เดเดฒเดเตเดเดฟเดค...Posted by Aashiq Abu on Wednesday, 15 November 2017