Responding to the press meet held by actor and president of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA), Mohanlal, the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) called it disappointing. In a detailed statement, the WCC questioned Mohanlal’s assertion that he and AMMA were with the survivor but were also praying for Dileep -- an accused in the case of rape and conspiracy.
“By taking in a man who is accused of a crime, AMMA has made clear with whom they stand in this issue. There are certain values, responsibilities and morality than an organisation should keep in mind. To make it appear that this decision (to take Dileep back) was taken based on technicalities is a cause of concern. The fact that people in AMMA took back an accused without thinking that the survivor is also a part of the organization, is painful,” WCC said.
During the press meet, a journalist had asked Mohanlal why AMMA had not helped the survivor when she had complained to the forum a few years ago that Dileep was depriving her of opportunities in the industry. Mohanlal had replied saying that the female actor had not given a written complaint.
WCC contested Mohanlal’s version and said: “Even as you say that the survivor did not submit any letter, we feel that we should let you know what she wanted to say. When she informed Edavela Babu saying that she is being robbed of all the roles that are coming her way, he immediately called up the accused actor and asked for his version. He then called her and said that these were just her assumptions. Later after she was assaulted, she requested Edavela Babu to stand by her side and support her. Apart from saying that he would stand by her, he did not mention a written complaint from the survivor.”
Mohanlal had also told the media that the resignations of only Remya Nambessan and the survivor had reached AMMA, while Rima Kallingal and Geethu Mohandas had not handed over the letters to the organization. Responding to this, WCC said, “All those WCC members who resigned along with her (the survivor) had announced it publicly. This message was conveyed to AMMA on their official e-mail.”
The WCC also called out AMMA and Mohanlal for insisting that Dileep issue was part of the agenda of the general body meeting on June 24. Mohanlal repeatedly said that women members had not objected to it and neither did the WCC. He also went on to say that members of WCC did not turn up at the AMMA Annual General Body Meeting which was held on June 24, despite knowing that Dileep's reinstatement was on the agenda.
“It was said in the press conference that the issue of taking the accused back into AMMA was part of the agenda but from what we know, it was not part of the agenda,” WCC said. TNM had reported earlier that Dileep was not part of the meeting’s agenda, and AMMA had taken it up without issuing any warning to the members.
WCC concluded its statement saying, “Even as things stand as they are, we believe in the democratic responsibilities that every organisation must follow. Because of that, we are hopeful about the discussion that is coming up. We hope that without wasting any more time, a decision regarding this issue will be arrived at and that a date will be fixed for an emergency meeting on this issue.”