Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) and its president Mohanlal continues to earn brickbats from all quarters for reinstating Dileep. The members of Kannada Film Industry (KFI) and Film Industry for Rights & Equality (FIRE) has written a letter expressing their discontent over AMMA’s latest move, which has been widely termed as “anti-woman.”
Addressing the letter to newly elected General Secretary Edavela Babu, the members of Kannada film fraternity called the decision to let Dileep rejoin AMMA “shocking, unfortunate and inappropriate.”
“Although we of KFI and FIRE espouse the Constitutional notion of ‘innocent until proven guilty,’ we deem AMMA’s reinstatement as even more inappropriate since the victim has been a member of AMMA and the accused has yet to be acquitted of all wrongdoing,” read the letter.
“With issues like women’s safety and gender equality being at the forefront of national debate, our cinema industries have strong responsibilities to blaze exemplary trails for the rest of society,” it added.
The KFI and FIRE also asked AMMA to “immediately revoke its judgment to reinstate Dileep until all charges are cleared and uphold the moral compasses that our film industries at their best possess(sic).”
As many as 50 prominent members of the Kannada film industry, including Rakhsit Shetty, Prakash Raj, Shraddha Srinath, Sruthi Hariharan, Yogaraj Bhat among others have endorsed the letter demanding the Malayalam actors’ guild to withdraw its decision on Dileep.
The survivor of the February 17 attack is also a popular face in Kannada films.
The latest development comes on the heels of Mohanlal’s statement justifying the association’s position under his leadership. In a letter, issued from London, Mohanlal claimed that the decision to revoke the ban on Dileep was taken unanimously by all the members who took part in the annual meeting held on June 24.
“We wholeheartedly accept the criticism being raised against the move. Some members who were not part of the annual general body meeting have announced their intention to leave the association. The AMMA leadership is willing to look at the sentiments behind this move,” he said in the letter. However, Mohanlal said it was better to ignore those who were hellbent on maligning the organisation from outside.
It is worth noting that about 100 members of the Malayalam film fraternity, including actors, directors and technicians have issued a letter with their signatures demanding elected representatives at the AMMA leadership to step down.
Kollam MLA Mukesh Kumar, Pathanapuram MLA Ganesh Kumar and Left MP Innocent, former AMMA president, hold top positions in the current AMMA executive committee.