Malayalam News

Filmmaker Ali Akbar Renounces Islam, Converts to Hinduism; Alleges Muslims on Social Media Disrespected Late Gen Rawat

Ali Akbar, the Malayalam filmmaker, announced on Saturday that he and his wife would convert to Hinduism, according to ANI. Adopting the new name of ‘Ramasimhan’, the filmmaker said that he made the decision to renounce Islam after seeing some Muslims on social media putting smiley emoticons and celebrating the death of India’s first Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat.


As per the report, the director felt this behaviour disrespected and dishonoured the late general. He further urged the government to identify such “anti-social elements” and punish them for such acts. 

Speaking to the publication, the filmmaker said, “After the tragic death of CDS Bipin Rawat, several social media handles posted smiley emoticons and celebrated his death. They were basically from one specific community that are believers of the Muslim faith. If I am questioning their provocative and anti-national statements then it doesn’t mean that I am anti-religion. I am standing with the nation against such communalism and deplorable statements.”

He also questioned that why Muslim religious leaders did not react to such posts, and added, “I cannot be part of such a religion. It’s a protest against those Muslims who were putting smiley emoticons on posts related to the death of CDS General Bipin Rawat. Why are religious leaders not correcting them?”

There are reports that some of these handles were fake and others posted the emoticons unintentionally. “If such were the case,” the filmmaker said, “they should be identified and punished. How come a section of people from one specific community post abusive comments?” He also alleged that one of the social media handles in question belongs to a doctor in a medical college.


Born in 1963 in Wayanad, Kerala, Akbar has directed over 20 films in Malayalam. Some of his prominent films include Grama Panchayath, Bamboo Boys, Junior Mandrake, Kudumba Vaarthakal and Pai Brothers. He received the Kerala State Film Award for his debut film, Mamalakalkku Appurathu (1988). He won the National Award in 1996 for his non-feature film Rabia Chalikkunnu.

Last year, he announced that he will be making a film based on the 1921 Malabar Rebellion through crowdfunding.

Akbar is also active in politics and is affiliated with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In 2014, he contested as a BJP candidate in the Kozhikode corporation elections. In 2015, he said that he was sexually exploited by an ustad (tutor) at a religious school he had attended 40 years ago.