After four female actors quit from Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA), the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) has written to the film body asking the organization for a emergency meeting explaining why it chose to include Dileep back in its fold. There has been huge outcry ever since actor Dileep, an accused in the Malayalam actress harassment case, was welcomed back into AMMA. As a result, Rima Kallingal, Ramya Nambeesan, Geetu Mohandas and the victim of the sexual assault have quit from the film body. In a statement, the victim said that there is no purpose in continuing in the organisation.
The Women in Cinema Collective, after strongly condemning the decision, has now written a letter seeking an explanation from AMMA as to why it chose to include Dileep back into the organisation. Saying that all members were not aware of the decision made in the meeting, the members have called for an emergency meeting to discuss the same. Three life members of AMMA, Revathi, Padmapriya and Parvathy have signed the same.
In the Facebook post, the WCC has also shared the letter and their side of the story which is as follows:
WCC’s letter to AMMA
We at WCC believe that constructive dialogue as well as action is essential for real change. Each one of us are shocked at the decision made at the previous general body meeting of AMMA. Hence we as AMMA members have sought a meeting with the new executive committee as explained in our letter. All members of AMMA had condemned that heinous act of assault on the survivor. All members of AMMA had pledged complete support to the survivor. But this last decision of AMMA directly contradicts all of that. Hence we want to know where AMMA really stands on this issue.
Sharing the official letter sent to AMMA !
Shree Edavela Babu,
General Secretary, AMMA
We are writing this letter to express our concern as women members of AMMA on the recent decision to bring back the expelled member (Dileep) in the general body meeting held on 24th June 2018. At this meeting, a very crucial decision was taken regarding a member who was expelled due to his involvement in the alleged assault of one of AMMA’s women members. Considering the gravity of the circumstances and the matter being sub-judice, it is shocking that such an important matter was decided without listing it on the agenda or being discussed among all members prior to the meeting.
AMMA had publicly pledged full support to the member who survived the assault but the decision taken at the said meeting for reinstating the expelled member who is now a charge sheeted suspect, goes against the promise made by AMMA to the survivor.
As a result, yesterday, the survivor has resigned and in solidarity with her three other women members have also resigned. They have clearly stated their reasons and this does not reflect well on AMMA and what it does for the welfare of its women members. We as members of AMMA urge that AMMA upholds the promise it has made and should not go back on its word. Particularly so as this matter is still under legal and media scrutiny and there is strong public outcry about it.
We were unable to attend the said meeting as we were not in station and were unaware about this matter being discussed at the meeting. (If we had known we would have surely raised our concerns at the meeting prior to such a decision being made).
We understand from AMMA officials that under such exceptional circumstances there is a provision for an Emergency Executive Body Meeting to be called to address our concerns. We request for the same to be called so that we may participate, discuss & understand:
1. The expelled member’s reinstatement & the implications of AMMA’s decision.
2. The steps taken by AMMA to support the survivor.
3. How AMMAs bye-laws are structured to ensure welfare of all its members.
4. What AMMA can do to make women feel more included and safe.
As members who do not reside/ are not present in Kerala we are requesting the meeting to take place on either 13th or 14th of July 2018.
As members of AMMA we genuinely believe that at this critical point we will come together to serve the best interests of all our members.
Look forward to hearing from you.
Revathy Asha Kelunni, Padmapriya Janakiraman, Parvathy.
Life Members of AMMA.
28th June 2018
One day after Mohanlal was sworn in as the new president of AMMA, actor Dileep was reinstated as a member of AMMA. The decision has sparked off a protest with several celebrities backing the women actors who quit the body.