Three days after the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) decided to reinstate membership of Dileep, the actor accused of abduction and attempt to rape a Malayalam film actress last year, four women members of the apex actor’s association, including the victim, quit on Wednesday.
Out on bail, Dileep, who was expelled from AMMA following his arrest last July, was reinstated after an AMMA general body meeting under newly elected president Mohanlal on Sunday.
Besides the victim, the others who quit are Geethu Mohandas, Rima Kallingal and Remya Nambeesan.
Leaders of all key political parties in Kerala on Wednesday criticised AMMA for revoking the suspension on Dileep and lauded the four actors’ decision to resign.
“It is my personal decision to stand by a friend who was wronged. I felt it’s better to fight (from) outside the system,” Mohandas told The Indian Express.
Stating that AMMA’s decision doesn’t come as a surprise, she said, “Clearly they should have handled it more responsibly, and been more concerned about the survivor, who was also a member of AMMA.”
All four are also members of Women in Cinema Collective (WCC), formed last year in response to the case.
In a post shared on WCC’s Facebook page, the victim stated, “Even before the attack, this actor (Dileep) intervened to derail opportunities that came my way. No serious action was taken regarding my complaints by the association. Even when I had the terrible experience…the association expended more effort in protecting the accused. Realising there is no point in being a member…I’m tendering my resignation.”
WCC, which had boycotted Sunday’s meeting of the association, later issued a statement and posed seven questions to AMMA.
Terming AMMA’s decision “misogynistic”, it asked why Dileep was expelled, what new circumstances had led to his readmission and why was the victim, also a member of the association, not considered when the decision was taken to reinstate him.
While not resigning from AMMA, some WCC members —- Padmapriya, Parvathy, Manju Warrier and Revathy, among them – called for introspection and accountability.
CPI(M) Politburo member M A Baby said the decision to revoke Dileep’s suspension is a challenge to Kerala society. Stating that people hold AMMA members with respect, Baby said their actions influence the society and thus the issue cannot be called an “internal matter” of the film industry.
Senior BJP leader and Rajya Sabha member V Muraleedharan called AMMA’s decision unfortunate, and one that would affect Mohanlal’s image as the association’s incumbent chief.
Congress legislator V T Balram said the CPI(M)-led LDF should answer the questions raised by the actresses, as the political front had made AMMA’s former president Innocent an MP, and the association’s vice-presidents K B Ganesh Kumar and Mukesh are party MLAs. —With Shaju Philip in Thiruvananthapuram