For the past one-and-a-half years, popular Malayalam dubbing artist Bhagya Lakshmi has been the face of a television talk show titled "Selfie." Bhagya Lakshmi, who was instrumental in bringing out the alleged gang-rape of a Thrissur woman by persons including a CPI (M) member recently, has now quit the television show - albeit temporarily.
The talk-show that airs on regional channel Kairali every Friday, discusses current issues. Her exit, that comes only months after the alleged rape had the Communist party lose its face, has raised eyebrows. Speculations are rife that she was forced to quit the CPI (M)-supported channel.
Confirming that she has quit the show, Bhagya Lakhsmi said that it was a temporary arrangement and was due to personal reasons. Speaking to The News Minute, she said that her exit "need not to played up into a controversy" as there was "nothing political" about her decision.
â€śIt is true that I have quit the show, but only temporarily. It is purely based on personal issues that I have decided to take a short break from the show. Thereâ€™s absolutely nothing political here,â€ť Bhagya Lakshmi said.
Refuting media reports that linked her exit to her involvement in exposing the CPI (M) member accused of gang-rape, Bhagya Lakshmi emphasized that the two issues were not related. She maintained that CPI (M) has neither asked her to quit the channel, not â€śmixed the two issues.â€ť
Bhagya Lakshmi reiterated that her statements were not a means to â€śsave anyone.â€ť
â€śIt is true that I am getting a lot of abusive messages on Facebook, but that does not have any relation to my exit from the channel or the Wadakkanchery issue. I desire a break for now. This does not mean that I am no longer in good terms with Kairali or that I am nurturing enmity towards the party. There was no negative response from the party at all," Bhagya Lakshmi maintained.
Reiterating her loyalty to the channel, she said that she will not be "disrespectful" to a channel that had given her opportunity to reach out to the public and address their issues. â€śI have been associated with Kairali channel for many years and I identify with the channel. It has given me the kind of opportunity to reach out to the public and address issues. I will never show disrespect to the channel by any means,â€ť she said.
Even as Kairali TV Managing Director John Brittas refused knowledge of Bhagya Lakshmi's exit in an interaction with Deccan Chronicle, Bhagya Lakshmi told TNM that she had communicated her decision to the management.
â€śI had told the channel authorities that I need a short break. When I spoke to John Brittas, he said I couldnâ€™t go. But then I assured him that I will come back soon. I wanted some changes to be made in the content of the show too. We want to improve the show in all respects, so I need a break to sort everything out. I may even decide to return in a month or two,â€ť she said.