Filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan is one of the 49 artists who wrote to PM Modi over the instances of lynching and religious identity-based hate crimes in the country.

Go to another planet Kerala BJP leader to Adoor Gopalakrishnan on letter to PM Adoor Gopalakrishnan (Right), B Gopalakrishnan (Left)
news Controversy Thursday, July 25, 2019 - 18:50

A day after 49 prominent citizens wrote to Prime Minister over the incidents of hate crimes in the country, a Kerala BJP leader has hit out at filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan, one of the signatories on the letter, and has asked him to ‘change his name and go to another planet’ if he cannot bear to hear the Jai Shri Ram chant. 

Adoor is one of the 49 artists who expressed their concern over the lynching of Muslims, Dalits and other minorities, increasing religious identity-based hate crimes and the growing intolerance towards dissent in the country.  The letter also said that the religious chant "Jai Shri Ram" has become a “provocative war cry,” and the artists asked the Prime Minister to put a stop to the name of Ram being "defiled in this manner.”

BJP Kerala spokesperson Advocate B Gopalakrishnan hit out at the filmmaker on Facebook, stating, "Jai Shri Ram will always be chanted in India as well in the neighbouring countries. One who doesn't want to hear that can get his or her name registered at Sriharikota and go to the moon or some other planet. People of India have voted to chant Jai Shri Ram… they will keep on chanting it and will even chant it in front of Adoor's house if needed... that is a democratic right... where would it be chanted if not in India?"

The BJP leader in his Facebook post also accused the filmmaker of remaining silent on other issues and speaking up selectively.

"Sir you are a respectful filmmaker... but you shouldn't condemn the culture of the state. where were you when Mamta Banerjee jailed Hindus for chanting Jai Shri Ram.. when Pinarayi Vijayan booked people for chanting Saranam.. when students stabbed their batchmate – you did not react on any of these occasions, were you on a vow of silence then?" the leader’s post said.

"I know why you have responded now for you didn’t get what you wanted.. you didn’t get what you wanted from the union government or you want the government to give you something - with the utmost contempt,” the leader said in his post.

Meanwhile, in response, Adoor stated that he will continue to object to the use of the chant Jai Shri Ram as a call to kill people. 

“I won’t succumb to anyone’s threat on this subject. Using the name of Shri Ram for the call to kill is against the believers. Let the state decide if people like me should go to the moon or any other planet,” he said.

Meanwhile, the youth wing of the CPI(M), the DYFI state committee, has come out in support of Adoor.

“Such RSS threatening won’t work here in Kerala. The provoking kind of words of the BJP leader is an insult to the state. Adoor is a figure honoured by the whole world. Adoor and any other person have the liberty to express their opinion and will continue to do so. The BJP shouldn’t try to kill freedom of opinion by threatening. We declare absolute support to Adoor. It has always been the strategy of the RSS to silence voices by luring or by threatening. Kerala is strong enough to survive such heinous attempts,” the statement says.

Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee President Mullappally Ramachandran has also spoken out in support of Adoor and stated that threats against Adoor are highly condemnable.

"Cultural figures in the country have spoken out at a time when incidents of atrocities continue to take place even after the Modi government came to power for a second term. Will the BJP send them all to the moon?" he asked.

Also Read: Mani Ratnam, Adoor, Revathy, Aparna Sen and others write to PM on communal violence



Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.