Several artistes from the Malayalam film industry have condemned the attack on students at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), saying it was a "criminal offence" and deserves the harshest punishment.
Actors Parvathy Thiruvothu and Rima Kallingal were one of the first to share the news of the attack on the night of January 5, with a photo of the hooded attackers.
In a Facebook post, actor Prithviraj Sukumaran wrote that entering an institution of knowledge and education and unleashing violence on students with scant regard for law and order, was an absolute murder of all democratic values and deserved the harshesh punishment. "Regardless of what ideology you stand for, what cause youâ€™re fighting for, what end to this means you might be hoping for, violence and vandalism is not and never will be the answer to anything."
For a nation that won its independence from colonialism through a non-violence, non-cooperation movement, it's truly deplorable that today the word 'revolution' is automatically equated to a call for violence and lawlessness, Prithviraj wrote in his Facebook post.
But also do remember, any form of protest that endorses violence is an equally condemnable act, the actor added.
Actor Manju Warrier also expressed shock over the visuals of bleeding faces of students on television. JNU was always a symbol of knowledge in this country, many who studied in JNU are now leaders and ruling us, she wrote on Facebook.
Though their politics may differ, their patriotism cannot be questioned, she said in a post. Though their ideologies may differ, the violence witnessed in the institution, wherein even outsiders had entered the campus and attacked the students, cannot be justified, she said, adding, "we cannot keep mum. We need to stand with them.â€ť
While actor Nivin Pauly wrote about the attack on students as "horrifying and frightening" and brutality at its worst, actor-turned director Geetu Mohandas said, "What the hell is going on ! What next ? A war against children?â€ť She shared the words: "The blood in your veins is cold if you still feel that your silence is acceptable under the garb of bullshit like 'apolitical'. You are the most political. Infact, you are a bigger problem than the bigots.â€ť
Another Malayalam actor Tovino Thomas said, "When the students of a premier university get attacked by cowards without faces and the system fails to stand firm against this, something is seriously and gravely wrong in this country!".
"Whatever be your political affiliation, if you are still believing that everything is normal here, you are terribly mistaken! Unless and until those cowards are caught and punished for what they did to our students, this nation is not going to sleep! Jai Hind!" Tovino added.
Actor Murali Gopy described the attack on students as "Black Shirts' terror @ JNU!" History suggests that this is yet another ominous portent of a democracy's steady decline into a fascist Black Hole, he wrote on his Facebook page.
Many of the actors also shared a picture of the bleeding Aishe Ghosh, president of JNUSU and the injured professor Sucharita Sen.