Minister Thomas Isaac noted that the women at the forefront of the Women in Cinema Collective were subjected to scrutiny and attacks every time they voiced their opinions.

Kasaba row Kerala Fin Minister stands up for Parvathy Siddique justifies trollsActor Siddique (left), actor Parvathy (right)
news Social Media Tuesday, December 19, 2017 - 15:36

Malayalam actor Parvathy's comments on the Mammootty film Kasaba have triggered a swirl of abuse on social media. More than a week since she spoke against the film's misogynistic content at the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), the trolling and abuse continue. 

However, the cyber attack also made sure that Parvathy received massive support from various quarters. 

On Monday, director Jude Anthany Joseph had called Parvathy "a monkey in a circus who suddenly decided to take on her masters." The insensitive comments drew a lot of flak for the Ohm Shanthi Oshana director. Parvathy herself slammed the post by tweeting "OMKV", which in Malayalam stands for "Odada mayire/malare/makane kandam vazhi". This means "Get lost" or "Run away". 

As if the Jude episode was not enough to send across the message that such comments will be met with resistance, actor Siddique has now taken to Facebook to share his two bits of wisdom.

Stating that Parvathy had all the right to share her opinions, Siddique said that the woman actor was responsible for bringing on the cyber attack against her. 

"People who don't agree with Parvathy may respond to her in whatever way them deem fit. There's no use overreacting to that. People have understood that the ones opposing Parvathy are right. When we do something, shouldn't we also think about its consequences? Is it right to say that everybody else must accept our opinions and not question it?" Siddique wrote in Malayalam. 

Reacting to those who have demanded that Mammootty has the responsibility to send out a strong message to his "fans" that mass cyber attacks on his name will not be tolerated, Siddique absolved the actor of all responsibility. How? By victim blaming, of course!

"Do you think that's what Mammootty is here to do? Did Mammootty ask these people to attack Parvathy? It is Parvathy who paved the way for this situation. So the responsibility to control them or react to them is also on her," Siddique wrote. 

Siddique said that he'd spoken to Mammootty about Parvathy's comments the day he heard her speech. According to Siddique, Mammootty was dismissive about Parvathy's opinion saying: "They are kids, let them say whatever they want to."

Siddique then proceeded to adorn the "experienced, veteran hat" and gave his "advice" to Parvathy. 

"I am not as talented as you are, nor can I speak fluently in English. I am old enough to be your father. Having said that, I want to ask you one thing. We all work in the same industry and why are we talking about 'we' and 'you.' Why can't you speak about 'us.' This is purely my opinion," he said. 

The latest to join the brigade is Kerala's Finance Minister Thomas Isaac, who took to Facebook to send across a strong message against cyber attacks. In his Facebook post, he hailed Parvathy for making Kerala proud by winning the award for best actress in IFFI. He also added that this isn’t a standalone incident and that it has become common to attack women on cyber platforms for voicing their opinion.

“Parvathy made us all proud by winning the best actress award at IFFI. This is not a standalone incident where a woman has been attacked on cyber space for voicing out her opinion. This is appalling and condemnable”, said Isaac in his post.

He also added, “It is now clear that the decision of women in the film industry to create a platform for upholding their rights has not gone down well with many in the state”.

Isaac later expressed his concerns over rising cyber-attacks on women and the recent such incidents in the state.

“The increasing cyber-attacks on women is disturbing to watch and the language used is unfortunately far from dignified. The bitter experiences of Sajitha Madathil, Rima Kallingal and script writer Didi Damodaran are not to be forgotten here," said Isaac.

He also said in his post that one has the freedom to agree or disagree with Parvathy’s comments that but that this was definitely not the way to respond. He also said that it has come to his notice how women in the forefront of the Women in Collective Cinema invariably come under such attacks.

“I have noticed how all the women who are in the forefront of WCC have always come under such scrutiny when speaking their mind," said Isaac.

The minister also added, “Cinema is an industry where women are seldom treated the way they should be. Such brave voices coming up from such a constrained space are to be always encouraged. Any attempts to silence such voices would prove unsuitable to a cultured society. Such coalitions formed by women should always be upheld and given their due space in society."

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