He has a reason to be upset. Rajeev Ravi must have had big hopes for the young men in the Malayalam film industry. He had cast three of them in all three of his critically acclaimed movies. Fahadh Faasil in his first, Annayum Rasulum, Farhaan Faasil in Njan Steve Lopez and Dulquer Salmaan in Kammattipadam.
But none of them have spoken a word about all that has happened now - in the Malayalam film industry and its beloved association, AMMA.
Dileep, one of the accused in the actor-assault case, has been reinstated in the association. A day later, four women including the survivor of the assault, have resigned from the film body. Politicians, activists have all ridiculed the decision taken by a leadership that includes elected representatives from the ruling Left. And now, 100 artistes have demanded that the elected representatives in AMMA step down.
Sadly, none of these lists include the âyoung heroesâ.
âI wish all the young heroes will come out, speak and question AMMA. They have helped us create a different cinema sensibility, itâs sad that they are not coming out. They really have nothing to fear, they have their own spaces. I believe they should not hesitate in speaking up,â Rajeev, cinematographer and filmmaker, told TNM.
They may face an emotional dilemma, he understands. "They will need to speak against the âeldersâ in the industry, some of them their family members. But they need to come out of this feudal mindset that prevents one from calling out an elder. In a situation like this, when a colleague has been harassed and she is asking for justice, these people should stand up," he says.
If they donât, the industry and organisations like A.M.M.A. would witness the kind of incidents that happen in politics. The young heroes will just replace the older generations and the status quo will continue, Rajeev fears. Instead, he says, "Imagine if all these young heroes come together and say what A.M.M.A. did was wrong".
But he is aware why people are not speaking up. âA star decides his technicians and co-stars. If he decides to drop someone, what happens to their future? It is this dependency that is forcing people not to speak up. There is a group that is even powerful enough to decide which movie will be a hit or flop.â
He is also disappointed with the government and the CPI(M) reaction. âI am more concerned about how the government in my state reacts, than what the superstars say. The CPI(M) saying that this is an effort to take over AMMA is a farce,â the director says.