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#MeToo
In a Facebook post, actor Sangeetha recounts how she was subjected to sexual assault and misconduct many times, which ultimately compelled her to quit the industry.
  • Monday, October 15, 2018 - 19:29

As part of the ongoing #MeToo campaign movement on Indian social media, Kannada actor Sangeetha Bhat came out with her own story. In a Facebook post, the actor alleged that she had faced sexual assault and misconduct on multiple occasions, and it ultimately compelled her to quit the Sandalwood for good. She added that these incidents “have haunted” her every night and are the reason behind her depression.

Without taking names, the Dayavittu Gamanisi actor accused a casting director, a serial director whose daughter, she said, is also an actor; three film directors and two assistants, including one director who who “was in news for allegations of casting couch”; one producer, a Tamil TV comedian, and two Kannada actors from one family, of sexual misconduct and assault.

“I guess it’s time I shared my experiences as well. I have found courage in sharing these moments, which have haunted me every night before I shut my eyes,” she wrote.

The first incident Sangeetha recounts happened when she was 15 years of age. Having lost her father at a young age, Sangeetha decided to work in the film industry as acting was her passion.

“In 2008, I auditioned for a Kannada movie. It was being produced by the ex-husband of a well known serial artiste. One day, the casting director took me in his car to have my costumes checked at their office in Vijaynagar (after promising and assuring my mother that he'd take care of me like a brother). He stops the car halfway in a deserted area, starts forcibly touching me all over and ends jerking infront of me. I was a 15-year-old kid then. I didn't realise what was happening. He then says in Kannada, "this is a normal thing here in the industry. I didn't even touch you. I just touched myself"...and then tries to assure me and act like everything is just normal. (sic),” she alleged.

She added, “The same day, I reach the office to try out costurnes. The main director looks at me and sits in front of me to see me dress. He then walks up and starts touching me all over. I ran outside in trauma. The movie never went on floors.”

In another incident from 2009, Sangeetha alleged that after her mother invited home the director and two assistants of her first film for dinner, the trio allegedly turned up drunk and tried to manhandle Sangeetha. “Me and mom ran out of the house and hid in the terrace until they left. This movie got completed. But never got released (sic),” Sangeetha said.

She also wrote about another incident where a woman hairdresser allegedly molested her, and then badmouthed to another director. This director, who Sangeetha alludes to as one who made news for “casting couch” (sexual harassment) recently, allegedly tried to solicit sex from her as well. “His daughter is currently an actress as well! I hope she doesn't go through such incidents,” Sangeetha said.

In yet another harrowing experience in 2012, a well known producer, who was apparently dating her roommate at the time, allegedly told Sangeetha that if she slept with him just once, he would cast her alongside a big film star in an upcoming project. “He also said, he can make me rich by pimping me out, coz he had some great connects with business tycoons. When I told this to my roommate (his girlfriend) about all this. She asked me to leave the house! (sic),” Sangeetha narrated.

She talks about several other incidents of being slut shamed, receiving unsolicited sexts, being asked coloured questions, and also facing sexual harassment on set of the film by a Tamil comedian in 2015-16.

Sangeetha is the first woman in the Kannada film industry to speak on the issue so far. As to why she did not take names, she said it was because she did not have proof apart from her own trauma. “And also because, I care about their families who were no way involved. I am sure the people reading this would realise their mistakes,” she said.

Sangeetha also talked about how she did not speak up earlier fearing for her career, and about how she hid her marital status because married women do not get much work in the industry. She further shed light on the lack of pay parity as well. “Most of the time, I was paid peanuts..and the movie used to go on for two/three years...and sometimes don't even release! ...On an average, I would earn less than 8k a month! ...Imagine the survival. It was just the passion for acting that kept me moving ahead (sic),” she said.  

Sangeetha concluded the post saying that while quitting the Kannada film industry has brought her a sense of peace, acting was a passion she would continue through theatre and short films she would do for her own satisfaction.

Sangeetha’s post comes in shortly after the demand for an Internal Complaints Committee by several members Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce. TNM had earlier reported how Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce President SA Chinne Gowda has agreed to transfer all sexual harassment cases to Film Industry for Rights and Equity’s (FIRE) ICC.

Read her full post here:

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Politics
An RTI reply had stated that there are 450 people working in Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy's ministerial office
  • Monday, October 15, 2018 - 19:14

Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has rejected reports based on an RTI reply that there are 450 people working in the Chief Minister's ministerial office. He clarified that the number was actually 282, which is lesser than the number of people employed by the office during the tenure of former CM Siddaramaiah.

"The number of people working in the office is actually 282 and not 450. I have not appointed new people. Under former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, there were 284 people working in this office. In Yeddyurappa and Sadananda Gowda's tenure, it was around 350 people," Kumaraswamy told reporters in Bengaluru in an attempt to clear up the issue.

The issue was raised by activist BS Gowda who stated that there are 450 members working in the CM's office after he received a response to an RTI application seeking information on the personnel working in the Chief Minister's office.

BS Gowda had filed three RTI applications specifically asking information about the number of staff working on deputation, On Other Duty(OOD)  drawn from different departments and  boards and corporations. the number of staff in B, C and D group, the number of staff working on contract basis. 

Kumaraswamy clarified that the RTI reply stating the number of personnel working in the CM office as 450 is a combined figure adding up all the categories including OOD officers and contract officers.

Kumaraswamy's clarification states that he is not unnecessarily spending public money. “Yesterday I travelled to Mangaluru and I did not take any special flight.  I travelled in a regular flight,” he said.

In July, an RTI reply had revealed that Kumaraswamy’s swearing-in ceremony in May earlier this year had cost the exchequer Rs 43 lakh, with an amount of over Rs 15 lakh reportedly spent on ‘high tea’ for the luminary of guests invited to the ceremony.

#Sabarimala
BJP state president PS Sreedharan Pillai said that if the government doesn't address the issue in 24 hours, the party would start a new mode of agitation.
  • Monday, October 15, 2018 - 18:27

The long march headed by the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), protesting against the Supreme Court verdict that allows women of all ages into the Sabarimala shrine, concluded at the Secretariat in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday. The massive rally started from Pandalam five days ago.

BJP General Secretary Muralidhar Rao inaugurated the protest. BJP state president PS Sreedharan Pillai, BJP’s lone MLA in the state O Rajagopal, other leaders such as C Padmanabhan, PK Krishnadas and NDA’s ally Bharath Dharma Jana Sena state president Thushar Vellappally, among others, took part in the meeting.

Hundreds of protesters marched through the southern districts of Alappuzha and Kollam. Sreedharan Pillai was the captain of the rally.

“The Communists have never accepted religion, and hence they have been losing in state after state. When we ask the government to file a review petition, we are not asking for additional constitutional rights. Not filing the petition implies that the CM is not with the democracy," Muralidhar Rao said.

This march was the first phase of BJP's campaign against the Supreme Court judgement on September 28, which lifted the ban on women entry into Sabarimala.

In the second phase of the campaign, the BJP will convene a meeting of devotees in Pathanamthitta, when the party will take a pledge to support the devotees. He also warned that the protest will be intensified if the government does not take appropriate action in the issue.

Sreedharan Pillai warned that if the government won’t address the issue in 24 hours, the NDA will come out with a new mode of agitation. “The CPI (M) had been trying to destroy Sabarimala for years. Now they are trying for it under the cover of the Supreme Court verdict. The BJP is with the devotees," he said.

The temple will be open for monthly pujas on October 17 evening.

Women Entry Post SC verdict, Kerala woman observes 41-day fast to go to Sabarimala 

 

Social media
Does AMMA even understand what its members say? Is Dileep still in AMMA or not? Some questions the Universe cannot answer.
  • Monday, October 15, 2018 - 18:26

That the Malayalam film industry is blessed with excellent actors is no secret. But the public is increasingly learning just how skilled they are day by day. Ever since Dileep, a powerful actor, was accused of being the mastermind in the conspiracy to abduct and sexually assault a prominent woman actor in February last year, the Malayalam industry has been bending backwards to turn him into a saint.

The Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) has been shielding Dileep all through - from refusing to remove him from the body till the time he was arrested and they had no choice, to reinstating him as soon as he got bail. Meanwhile, the organisation has also turned hostile towards the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) which was set up by friends of the woman actor who was assaulted.

In its latest show of complete insensitivity and brazen defence of the accused, AMMA, represented by actors Siddique and KPAC Lalitha, put forth several bizarre arguments that are certainly meme-worthy. Their Monday's press meet, full of conspiracy theories and twisted logic, has inspired Internet humourists to come up with some gems to lighten the black mood that many of us in these times of #MeToo find ourselves in. 

Dileep is labelled as "WCC which called for the press meet".

The middle panel says, "You did not stand by the survivor, we did not get justice from AMMA, you called us 'actors', you directly insulted the survivor who had been sexually assaulted, you stood by the accused."

The last panel has Kuthiravattam Pappu and the woman next to him labelled as "Media" and "Fans: "The President called them actors!"

This is a reference to the backlash that the WCC has received after their press conference on Saturday. While they made several important points about AMMA's conduct, the media and fans have latched on to their comment regarding the condescending behaviour of President Mohanlal.

This one is a dig at fans who've been incessantly abusing and trolling the WCC and their supporters. Panel 1 has Salim Kumar saying, "Is it them (AMMA) who look after your household expenses and daily affairs?" Panel 2 has the "cyber poraalis" or abusers saying, "Oh not at all!" Panel 3 has Salim Kumar retorting with, "Then why are you going to someone's page and randomly abusing them for their sake?"

This meme, showing Siddique and KPAC Lalitha, has the two actors saying: "Action will be taken against the actors who acted against the organisation and president Mohanlal while being in the organisation." To this, Thilakan responds, "Oh yes, that is the practice!" 

For the uninitiated, Thilakan was ostracised and expelled from AMMA for raising questions about the partisan way in which the film body conducted its affairs. 

 

This one has the other "superstar" of Mollywood, Mammootty, a prominent AMMA member. On one side are "Law and Justice", but this is clearly outweighed by the Rs 5.5 crores given by Dileep. This is roughly the budget of Twenty: 20, a film that Dileep produced to raise funds for AMMA's welfare schemes.

This famous scene from Nadodikattu has been turned into a meme to expose AMMA. The top panel reads, "Members who are coming for justice." However AMMA is only interested in asking, "Where? Where is the 5.5 crores?"

This one shows the WCC saying, "Action should be taken against the accused who assaulted the actor." AMMA coolly replies, "Of course, we will take action", only to turn around and say, "Here's the action for speaking against Mohanlal." 

Is Dileep part of AMMA or not? The organisation has been hedging forever. This meme has the media asking Mohanlal, "Laletta, is Dileep in AMMA or not?" Mohanlal replies, "Isn't that something you already know? Undilla (Yes and no)!" 

Much has been written about Dileep's "golden heart" as a PR exercise to rebuild the actor's public image. One point that's been repeatedly made is how generous he has been in lending money to his colleague. So much so that people are willing to excuse him for the crimes he's been accused of.

This meme says, "Which jerk groped the teacher's daughter? Hit him!" The response to this is, "Nobody should do anything. Nobody should him him." Why? Because, "He gave me Rs 5 lakhs and helped me!"

The face of expelled member Thilakan who found out how many hurdles had been there to remove him. For those who didn't understand, this is a reference to how easily he was removed while AMMA has been citing one reason or the other not to expel Dileep. 

This one is for the press that has gone hard at the WCC but turns meek when questioning AMMA. Cochin Hanifa: Did your tongue not rise to ask questions with the same aggression you showed at the WCC meet at the AMMA meet?

Salim Kumar/Media: Have you ever understood anything said by the AMMA President? Why, do they themselves understand what they say? Then how will we alone understand what they say?

This one's for fangirl KPAC Lalitha who was most upset by the "disrespect" shown to "Colonel" Mohanlal. The text says, "Learn to respect the Colonel!"

Memes credit: ICU

MeToo
Vinta, in a recent heart-breaking Facebook post, detailed how she was allegedly sexually assaulted by Alok Nath on more than one occasion, 19 years ago.
  • Monday, October 15, 2018 - 17:50
Imgur/Wiki Commons

Actor Alok Nath, who was accused of rape by writer-producer Vinta Nanda and sexual harassment by actor Sandhya Mridul, has filed a civil defamation suit against Vinta and sought a written apology and a compensation of Re 1.

Vinta, in a recent heart-breaking Facebook post, detailed how she was allegedly sexually assaulted by Alok Nath on more than one occasion, 19 years ago. Alok Nath has denied the accusations.

On Saturday, Ashu Singh, Alok Nath’s wife, moved court against Vinta and filed a complaint with the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate in Mumbai’s Andheri Court. She asked the court to direct the Amboli police to take cognisance of her complaint against Vinta and investigate the matter.

Following Ashu Singh’s complaint, Vinta’s advocate Dhruti M Kapadia said in a statement that they are going to fight the matter legally.

“However and whatever the proceedings will be, we will deal with everything following due process of law,” she said.

Vinta is awaiting decisions of various associations like the Cine and TV Artistes Association (CINTAA), the Screenwriters Association (SWA) and the Indian Film and Television Directors Association (IFTDA). Alok is supposed to reply to CINTAA by Monday evening and to IFTDA by Thursday.

“Pursuant to decisions we will further decide our next step of action. It is pertinent to note my client is further humiliated in continuity for which we will legally take recourse. She will not be deprived of any legal help she seeks. My client will not be intimidated by threats and defamation suits which are primarily meant to delay and distract from the gravity of the allegations,” Dhruti said.

In her account, Vinta had written: “He was an alcoholic, shameless and obnoxious but he was also the television star of that decade, so not only was he forgiven for all his bad behaviour, many of the guys would also egg him on to be his worst.”

She went on to describe her experience and write about how she was brutalised in her own home.

“I started to walk home on the empty streets... Midway I was accosted by this man who was driving his own car and he asked me to sit in it and said he would drop me home. I trusted him and sat in his car. I have faint memory after that. I can remember more liquor being poured into my mouth and I remember being violated endlessly. When I woke up the next afternoon, I was in pain. I hadn’t just been raped, I was taken to my own house and had been brutalised.”

(With IANS inputs)

Controversy
While KCR’s affidavit says he has pursued BA from Government Degree College, Siddipet, in a 2015 speech he mentions of pursuing MSc in political science.
  • Monday, October 15, 2018 - 17:27

An old video of Telangana caretaker Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, where he said that he has pursued MSc in political science, has suddenly gone viral, with several people questioning KCR’s educational background. KCR’s latest election affidavit, filed in 2014, says his highest educational qualification is a Bachelor’s degree from Government Degree College in Siddipet, Medak district during 1972-75.

The video is from January, 2015, when KCR made a speech commemorating veteran Congress leader Gaddam Venkataswamy, fondly called as Kaka. KCR said, “Venkataswamy and our families had a long association with Telangana struggle. During that time, Venkataswamy was the Siddipet Parliament representative. He was an amazing person. When I was pursuing MSc Political Science, I used to take part in debates, I asked a question pertaining to economic interest for which Venkataswamy replied beautifully in English.”

The video is now being shared widely by opposition leaders, as well as students and activists. The 30-second clip is doing the rounds with several people questioning the credibility of KCR’s claims, and a few trolling him, saying no university in Telangana offered an MSc in political science.

Speaking to TNM, Sunil Neeradi, a Political Science student from Osmania who has shared the video says, “Though, there are courses of MSc in Political Science, neither Osmania nor any other university in Telangana has ever had a course in MSc Political Science course. This is a total bluff. He has only completed his Bachelors from Government Degree College in Siddipet. This is one of his many bluffs.”

Others have questioned how a person who has studied MSc espouses superstitious beliefs in Vaastu and numerology.

Some have compared KCR to TDP MLA Jaleel Khan, who shot to fame for claiming that he pursued ‘B Com in Physics’ in an interview.

 

 

 

Civic Issues
According to the rule, establishments can only allow smoking inside enclosed smoking zones and must obtain a no-objection certificate (NOC) for the same.
  • Monday, October 15, 2018 - 16:45

On August 30 this year, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had issued a public notice banning smoking inside all hotels, bars and pubs in the city. The BBMP had, however, stated that these establishments can have enclosed smoking zones and must obtain a no-objection certificate (NOC) for the same.

However, a month after the notice was issued, BBMP officials say that only two bars have applied for the NOC so far. Many restaurants and bars do not have a smoking zone and are allowing customers to smoke inside the premises, they say.

Officials add that one of the reasons why the establishment owners have not applied so far to avoid surprise checks.

"We wanted to keep the process democratic. The health department does not indulge in moral policing. Our goal is to ensure that non-smokers do not get affected by the fact that so many people smoke openly in bars, pubs and restaurants. Also, some of the establishments have smoking zones but they are not enclosed. If these establishments apply for an NOC then the BBMP will be able to conduct surprise checks to see if they are following norms. We have told the establishments to either ban smoking or obtain an NOC," said Dr Savita, BBMP Officer-in-charge of the Tobacco Control Programme.

The BBMP's Tobacco Control Programme had introduced the ban on smoking in hotels and bars as a part of its "tobacco-free" goal. BBMP officials say that the aim was to make the city tobacco-free by 2030.

"So far, we have not given anyone a deadline to apply for the NOC. Once a restaurant owner or bar owner applies for the NOC, BBMP will inspect and see if the smoking zone meets the prescribed standards. Then an NOC will be issued. Surprise checks will be conducted to see if this rule is being followed. We will give one warning and then cancel the trade license of the said establishment," she added.

According to a Government of India notification issued in August, any establishment such as a pub, bar, hotel and restaurant that has a seating capacity of more than 30 members can have a designated smoking zone and it is mandatory for them to get a no-objection certificate from the BBMP tobacco control cell.

A senior health officer with the BBMP told TNM that over 60% of the bars in Bengaluru and over 50% of restaurants do not have proper smoking zones and the customers are allowed to smoke in the open. "These establishment owners fear that with more restrictions, their businesses would take a hit. We are concerned about public health and it is wrong to put non-smokers at risk," the official said.

Dr Savita said that the form to apply for the NOC will be uploaded on the BBMP website and establishment owners could apply for NOC, which would be available within 20 days. "They don't even have to run around for an NOC. It will all be online," she added.

 

 

Cricket
Jayasuriya has been charged for refusing to cooperate with the board's investigations and for allegedly delaying the same.
  • Monday, October 15, 2018 - 16:39
Facebook/Sri Lanka Cricket

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has charged former Sri Lanka captain and current national selector Sanath Jayasuriya on Monday for breaching the board's ‘Anti-Corruption Code’ on two points.

Jayasuriya has been charged by the ICC under Article 2.4.6. This states encompasses, “failure or refusal, without compelling justification, to cooperate with any investigation carried out by the ACU, including failure to provide accurately and completely any information and/or documentation requested by the ACU as part of such investigation.”

The other violation he has been charged with falls under Article 2.4.7 which states that, “obstructing or delaying any investigation that may be carried out by the ACU, including concealing, tampering with or destroying any documentation or other information that may be relevant to that investigation and/or that may be evidence or may lead to the discovery of evidence of corrupt conduct under the Anti-Corruption Code.”

The 49-year-old cricketing legend has been given 2 weeks starting on the 15th of October to respond to the charges made against him. Earlier, the ICC announced that they would be investigating “serious” charges of corruption taking place in Sri Lanka after several speculations arose about the same.

“We are currently in Sri Lanka as part of our ongoing investigations into serious allegations of corruption in cricket in the country,” ICC Anti-Corruption Unit General Manager Alex Marshall said in a statement, “The enquiries are continuing so it would not be appropriate to comment further, but I can confirm that we have, at their request, provided a detailed briefing to the Sri Lankan President, Prime Minister and Sports Minister,” he added.

The ICC has also stated that it would not make any further comments regarding the matter as of now.

AMMA
Other than saying that they will not invite back the four women who'd resigned from AMMA, KPAC Lalitha and Siddique also batted for Dileep.
  • Monday, October 15, 2018 - 15:47

Actor Siddique addressed a press meet on behalf of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) along with veteran actor KPAC Lalitha on Monday. Siddique, who is the Secretary of AMMA, said that there is no need for the organisation to call an urgent General Body meeting right now.

The statement comes after the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) called for a press meet on Saturday where they expressed their disappointment with AMMA in no uncertain terms. The WCC had called for the press meet following months of inaction from AMMA's end regarding the controversy generated by reinstating Dileep. The actor stands accused of masterminding the abduction and sexual assault of a prominent woman actor in February last year.

Siddique alleged that the WCC had called for the press meet to "defame" Mohanlal, who is the President of AMMA. "Dileep resigned on October 10th. Knowing this, WCC called for this press meet," he said. "WCC's intention was to defame Mohanlal."

On inviting back WCC members who'd resigned

During the AMMA Executive Council meeting in August, actors Parvathy, Padmapriya and Revathy, had asked AMMA to invite the survivor, Rima Kallingal, Geethu Mohandas and Remya Nambeeshan back to the organisation. Though the four who resigned had made no such demands, the three actors who went for the meeting, told the AMMA EC that inviting them back would show that AMMA stood for its women members.

"Let those who resigned apologise first," said Siddique, referring to the four women who'd quit AMMA. At the Saturday press meet, the WCC members had spoken about AMMA's reluctance to invite the members who'd resigned while they'd been so eager to take back Dileep in their fold.

He also called the WCC "juvenile" for taking issue with Mohanlal addressing them as "actors". Revathy had spoken at the press meet about how Mohanlal had referred to them condescendingly at the Executive Council meeting in August and refused to look at them as individuals with varied opinions.

Siddique further added that the WCC could have expressed their disappointment in AMMA at that meeting itself but that they'd not done so. He made it clear that the members who had resigned would not be called back.

"They can write to us if they want to come," he said.

On #MeToo

Siddique and KPAC Lalitha claimed that the WCC was "misusing" the #MeToo movement that has taken the country by storm.

"We cannot block Dileep from acting," added Siddique. He suggested instead that this was a "conspiracy" to ruin AMMA.

"There is someone behind the scenes who is using WCC members to destroy AMMA," he alleged.

The organsation has to send a response to the questions raised by the WCC by 7th of November.

"All this takes time. It's not something that can be done immediately. PK Shashi has a police case against him, right? But he's still an MLA, right?" asked Siddique, referring to the CPI(M) politician who has been accused of sexually harassing a woman party member.

Rubbishing the allegations that Dileep had denied work to women actors in the past because of their association with his ex-wife Manju Warrier, Siddique said, "Name one director who Dileep has called to not give opportunities to the survivors. Give specific names."

KPAC Lalitha acknowledged that the #MeToo movement was necessary but she added that there was no point in complaining after 10-15 years. "#MeToo is required, not just in Malayalam, but world-over. Women who are getting harassed and abused are all mothers and sisters and daughters of people. They have to be protected. What’s the point of complaining after 10-15 years?" she said.

Siddique also mocked director Aashiq Abu's efforts to set me an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) for his films. Aashiq Abu is married to Rima Kallingal, a vocal member of the WCC.

"I don't think there is a need for Internal Complaints Committee in my movies, because no harassment happens. Maybe Aashiq Abu needs one in his movie sets. When I think there is need, I will form the ICC," said Siddique.

Categorically arguing for Dileep's continued presence in the Malayalam film industry, Siddique said, "The three members wanted Dileep banned from movies. How can somebody ask another person to leave his/her profession based on allegations? They gave examples of Akshay Kumar and Aamir Khan that they decided to walk out of movies. What they did was wrong."

On AMMA's "generosity"

Responding to the criticism on AMMA's silence about many issues, Siddique said, "AMMA is not an association to mock anybody or cast aspersion on anybody. Its members may not answer to all questions or allegations against it. It is not out of fear or with the intention to maintain silence. We have not been responding so far because we did not feel the need to so. We decided to respond now because we have a responsibility towards the public."

"Apart from the four female actors who resigned, there are other actors under AMMA's fold. Many are not financially well off and worries when and where they will get their next film project. We have a lot of responsibility in helping them," KPAC Lalitha added.

Stating that AMMA was a welfare association and not a union, Siddique and KPAC Lalitha defended the organisation's complete lack of will in dealing with Dileep with a firm hand. "Committees are just to please and placate people. In our profession, we don’t need a committee, we can talk to each other and sort it out," they also bizarrely claimed.

Despite the irony of the whole situation, they claimed that they would take complaints of sexual harassment seriously. "If female actors are ready to speak up or call out their molesters in the industry, please come forward; reveal the names. We will take criminal action against them," they said, noting that the survivor had not issued a complaint against the accused in AMMA.

On the survivor

KPAC Lalitha, who received flak for meeting Dileep in prison, defended herself saying she'd also met with the survivor. "The survivor is a lady, I have gone to her house and asked about her. You guys do not speak about that. You only talk about me going to the prison to meet Dileep," she said.

Siddique claimed that the organisation was with the survivor. "We are with the survivor. We are against Pulsar Suni, we want him punished. He's the one who named Dileep. What if he names me tomorrow? What if he names any of you?" said Siddique.

Putting the onus on the survivor who had resigned after Dileep was reinstated, Siddique said, "Let the survivor decide if she wants to come back to AMMA."

"Conspiracy" against Mohanlal

Batting for Mohanlal, the two actors said, "Why are they against Mohanlal? He went to the State Film Awards event based on the invite from AK Balan and the CM. Instead, WCC sent a memorandum, which also had some fake signatures. But look what happened - people received Mohanlal with open arms."

This is a reference to a protest letter which had over a 100 signatures, calling for a re-think on inviting Mohanlal to be the chief guest at the Kerala State Film Awards ceremony.

KPAC Lalitha further commended Dileep on his "decency" by saying, "What Dileep has done is a very decent thing, that’s all I can say." Dileep had decided not to come back to AMMA soon after the organisation had made a move to reinstate him.

Human interest
The vendor at a kiosk in a Coimbatore mall uses vessels and a ladle to create music as he prepares snacks with sweet corn.
  • Monday, October 15, 2018 - 15:19

Sweet corn with some salt, spice and lemon juice is arguably a favourite snack across India. But for customers of the snacks at Brookefields mall in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, there was a bonus offering while they waited for the snack to be prepared.

In a video posted on Twitter by digital marketer Karthik Srinivasan, the vendor at a small snack kiosk at the mall can be seen using the vessels and a ladle to create music as he mixes the spices with the corn. The video is about 30 seconds long, accompanied by the caption, “You could be doing a mundane job. But you could muster the enthusiasm to believe that the world is watching you do it. And perform to put up a show your audiences will love to remember and talk about!”

Watch it here:

Karthik’s tweet, posted on Sunday, has since gone viral, with over three lakh views, and over 500 retweets.

His performance also earned him plenty of appreciation from Twitter users, including singer Chinmayi Sripada.

A few people also replied to the tweet, talking about their own experience seeing the man prepare the corn snack in an innovative way. A woman, for instance, said that her daughter was jumping with joy seeing him.