With a sepia-toned picture of the Babri Masjid, from before it was demolished in 1992, Malayalam filmmaker Amal Neerad became one of the few from the industry to express his stand about the Ram Temple being consecrated on the same site in Ayodhya on Monday, January 22, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Amal wrote a day after the grand ceremony, “Our integrity sells for so little, but it is all that we really have. It is the very last inch of us. But within that inch, we are free.”
Amal Neerad’s comment came on the same day veteran actor-director Revathy posted in favour of the Ram Temple and about her beliefs as a Hindu. She wrote, “Yesterday was an unforgettable day!!! I did not know there was this part of me that would feel the way it did when I saw Ram Lalla’s enticing face. Something stirred within me and (I) felt extremely happy. It is strange that being born a Hindu we keep our beliefs to ourselves, try not to hurt other beliefs, we try to underplay… secular India is what we strongly feel and keep our religious beliefs personal. This is how it should be for all. The homecoming of Shri Ram has indeed changed things for many… we said it aloud, maybe for the first time that we are ‘believers’!!! Jai Shri Ram.”
Actor Nithya Menen commented under Revathy’s post “Very true,” while acclaimed filmmaker Don Palathara criticised the post with a Malayalam word expressing disgust: “Ayye.” Revathy’s post was also met with severe criticism from Kerala’s secular circles.
On January 22 evening, actor Shane Nigam shared a newspaper clipping containing a speech by Dr BR Ambedkar, in which the father of the Constitution warns that “our independence will be put in jeopardy a second time and probably be lost forever”, if the political parties place creed above country.
Singer Vidhu Prathap also took to social media to seemingly make clear his stance on the Ayodhya Ram temple debate, writing in Malayalam: “Matham oru aaswasam akam, aavesham aakaruthu” (Religion can be a comfort, not a passion). Singers Sooraj Santhosh and Sithara Krishnakumar commented with emoticons supporting his statement. Sooraj had expressed his views much earlier, when he criticised renowned singer KS Chithra for asking everyone to light lamps on the consecration day, forgetting that the temple was being built over the ruins of the Babri Masjid. Subsequent cyber attacks against him led to a case being registered in Kerala, and the arrest of an accused.
Superstar Mohanlal too was not spared cyber attacks from right-wingers, as he did not attend the consecration on Monday despite getting an invitation for it. Many commented on his social media pages that they were unfollowing him and would boycott his upcoming film with Lio Jose Pellissery, Malaikottai Vaaliban.
On the morning of the much-celebrated consecration ceremony, a few women actors as well as some filmmakers had posted the preamble of the Indian Constitution on their social media pages. Actors Parvathy Thiruvothu, Rima Kallingal, Divya Prabha and Kani Kusruti and directors Aashiq Abu, Jeo Baby and Kamal KM were among those who put out Instagram posts with captions. Actor Rajesh Madhavan also shared the preamble on his Instagram story.