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A film personality who was involved with the drafting of the memorandum told TNM that it was not against a particular person or star.

Not singling out Mohanlal didnt sign memorandum against him says Prakash Raj
Flix Controversy Tuesday, July 24, 2018 - 14:53

Actor Prakash Raj posted a video on his social media pages on Tuesday clarifying that he is not singling out Malayalam actor Mohanlal. This is following the controversy over a petition that was signed by more than 100 artistes and activists, including Prakash Raj, against the Kerala state government’s move to call artistes as chief guest at the State Film Awards.

In the video, Prakash Raj says, “There are rumors that I have signed a memorandum against Mohanlal ji. This is false. I have neither signed such a memorandum nor heard of it. Yes, I have my difference with the decisions AMMA had taken, and I have very clearly told my stance. I do not accept it. It was insensitive to have taken such a decision. But this news that I am singling out Mohanlal ji, such a statured actor, and that I have been a part of signing a memorandum, is false.”

On Monday, a petition was signed by more than 100 artistes and activists, including Prakash Raj, against the Kerala state government’s move to call artists as chief guest at the State Film Awards.

The statement, signed by prominent members from the film industry, activists, mediapersons and others associated with the cinema field, did not explicitly mention Mohanlal or any other names of personalities. However, since Mohanlal was rumoured to be the chief guest at the event, it was inferred that the statement was also a message to the government to not invite the superstar or others from the industry.

It said, “When the chief guest is an actor whose films too have been part of the fray for the awards, this would really be belittling for the award winners. We are reminding you to not allow such a practice in the state film award function. The chief guests should only be the Chief Minister, Cultural Minister and award winners. Failing that and inviting another chief guest does not give a good message. Such a practice should not be allowed in any year.”

A film personality who was involved with the drafting of the statement told TNM, “Our statement was not against a particular person. We approached all signatories asking them to declare solidarity with a statement that asked the government not to call chief guests and restrict the event to just the Chief Minister and the awardees.”

Three days before the statement, award winning director Dr Biju had criticised Cultural Minister AK Balan's move to invite Mohanlal as the chief guest for the event.

"By this move, it is understood that the minister is living in another world which is not aware of the contemporary developments in the Malayalam film world. A strong public mood has been emerging against the anti-women practices of the Malayalam cinema industry, against the atrocities and against superstar images. At this time, it was AMMA which took a regressive stand. They have repeatedly made it clear that they are with the accused; not with the victim. The organisation decided to bring back the accused actor immediately after a superstar assumed charge as president of it,” the post reads.

Incidentally, the Kannada Film Industry (KFI) and the Film Industry for Rights & Equality (FIRE) had sent a letter to AMMA (The Association of Malayalam Movie Artists) in July, expressing their disappointment with the film association, and asked it to revoke the reinstatement of actor Dileep, who is an accused in the abduction and sexual assault of an actor, until he is cleared of all charges.

Prakash Raj was one of the signatories in the letter from KFI and FIRE.


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