Women film artistes from across the country have issued a statement condemning AMMA’s decision to revoke the suspension of actor Dileep – main accused in the case of sexual assault and abduction of an actress, reported The Hindu.
In a letter, 178 women film artistes, including Nandita Das, Renuka Shahane, Leena Manimekalai stated that the body that is meant to represent artistes of the Malayalam film industry has sidelined the interests of the rape survivor in favour of the accused.
“Even before the case has reached its conclusion, AMMA has chosen to validate a person accused of a very serious crime against a colleague. We condemn this cavalier attitude by artistes against women artistes who are working alongside them. There is misogyny and gender discrimination embedded in this action,” the statement said.
AMMA’s decision to reinstate Dileep’s drew a lot of flak from all quarters. Following the decision, four members of the Women In Cinema Collective (WCC), including the rape survivor, immediately resigned from AMMA. Others like Revathy, Parvathy have written to the organisation and asked for an explanation.
Actress Ramya Nambessan told Silverscreen, “We understand that AMMA is better known for its charity measures for actors, but imagine letting down a survivor of a nationally-reported crime. This is about human safety; it can happen to anyone, man or woman, tomorrow. What is the Association proving now? That it also safeguards criminals?”
AMMA’s new president, Mohanlal, has been criticised too for his role in the proceedings. Through a statement, he said that the decision to reinstate Dileep was not his alone and that the board just went along with the wishes of the general body.
Meanwhile, actor Siddique recently said that the decision to suspend Dileep last year was invalid in the first place. A board comprising Ramya Nambessan and Prithviraj reportedly found that the process violated the norms of the organisation, but this was never made public.
The Kannada industry has come out in support of the survivor, while the Tamil and Telugu film industries still remain mum.
Meanwhile, AMMA has agreed to hold a meeting to discuss its decision, however, no date has been finalized as yet.
Image Courtesy: Mangalam