Politician turned actor and present Chairman of Kerala State Film Development Corporation (KSFDC), Rajmohan Unnithan, had a stormy start to his Chairmanship earlier this year with several members protesting against his appointment due to a perceived lack of association with the industry. He speaks to The News Minute on his department, controversies and present Kerala politics.
There was huge criticism over your appointment as the Chairman of KSFDC, there were mass resignations from the corporation too, and how do you reply to them?
Till I took charge as KSFDC chairman most of the people who were in this post got it through the special interest of Ganesh Kumar. Even his dad had complained about it. When I took charge, the main complaint was that I was a person who has nothing to do with Malayalam cinema. So if that is the case, a drunkard should become the chairman of Beverages Corporation. According to me, a person with good administrative powers should head a corporation.
These people who criticized me have not done anything for the development of KSFDC till now. But now I have taken successful measures to increase the income of the corporation by introducing a 20 crore renovation project of our studio Chitranjali and by promoting packages of Chitranjali (film shoot and recording packages). We have also planned a mini film city in Trivandrum.
Another criticism you raised was over the private business like SFC restaurant in KSFDC headquarters?
This KSFDC building had all state film related departments including Censor Board office and National Film Development Corporation state office, but when Ganesh Kumar came as minister he asked all these departments to vacate the building and rented out one floor to SFC fried chicken restaurant. This cannot be accepted at any cost as it is the headquarters of KSFDC. That is why I protested; now there are some positive moves from the government to bring back all the film related departments to the building.
What are the problems in the Malayalam film industry?
The main problem of Malayalam cinema is lack of potential producers. If there were producers who were more concerned about the quality of the movie’s story than profit, then we would have got good movies. Now here people run after stars aiming for a good profit through satellite rights and it is the stars who decide the casting of the movie. So if good producers are there, they won’t have to go for satellite rights. Here even people who run a very small business turn to film producers.
Would you call yourself a rebel congressman?
I always say the truth and nobody likes the truth, it irritates others. That is why I may be called a rebel. Though the party did not give me any powerful position, I have never ever thought against the party. I have never done anything against the party; I just said my opinion everywhere that’s all.
Is Congress using BJP as a tool to defeat the LDF? Why is the Chief Minister silent on BJP’s propaganda?
Congress and BJP do not have any secret understanding to defeat LDF, because BJP’s political agenda is communal and against secularism. Congress’s ideology itself is a secular nation.
The Chief Minister’s silence might have caused some misunderstanding and wrong interpretations in this context. Yes, the leaders should have been more careful while dealing with some issues as silence can be dangerously misinterpreted. Politicians should clearly express their opinions at the right time and it is better not to give opportunities for misinterpretations.
How do you see the BJP’s growth in Kerala?
Communal provocation is the BJP's political propaganda. I am a Hindu. I follow all the rituals and traditions of a Hindu, but respect all traditions. People should eat and wear what they want and they should live with freedom.
Former Congressman Cheriyan Philip created a storm by saying some women in Congress perform sexual favours
I don’t have any comments on Philip’s post. You might remember the Manjeri issue where some of the Left workers blocked me and a woman, who travelled with me. They alleged that we were involved in some immoral issues. We were going to Bangalore for a meeting, no other intentions were there. Many people here starve sexually; these are the ones who act as moral police. Moreover a mature man and a woman willingly have every right to travel, live and have sex together, its personal and not others business.
Why should I react to Philip’s post? Many women Congress workers acted against me during the Manjeri issue. I know them very well.
In a recent TV discussion, you lashed out at Sasikala teacher and she felt offended
Recently when a Muslim kid was killed by a Hindu extremist in Kasaragod district, police discovered that the accused’s mobile phone had a lot of speeches given by Sasikala teacher, which encouraged him to commit the crime. She doesn’t deserve to be a teacher, teachers should be good role models to students and she can never become one. Her speeches are highly poisonous, invoking communal thoughts. Her speeches should be considered anti-national, so I will speak against it wherever necessary. When we listen to her speech we will realize that she has a devil’s heart. She should be terminated from service.
Photo : Rajmohan Unnithan Facebook