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Decided To Go Ahead With Legal Proceedings: Tovino Thomas On Hindutva Groups’ Destruction of ‘Minnal Murali’ Sets

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In a sharply worded statement actor Tovino Thomas, has responded to the destruction of his movie’s sets (that of a church) in Kerala’s Kaalady village. “Minnal Murali’s first schedule at Wayanad had been in progress when the set for the second schedule began construction at Kaalady. It was carried out by art director Manu Jagad and team, under special instructions by stunt choreographer Vlad Rimburg. For this, we had the rightful permissions from the concerned authorities. And as we were about to start shooting in this set – which was built on a considerable cost, the whole country went into lockdown, following which our shoot was paused, just like all others’. It is during this prevailing uncertainty that this contractual set was destroyed by a group of racialists yesterday. The reasons they cite for this unceremonious act are not understood to our senses till now. We’ve heard of movie sets being vandalised by religious fanatics in Northern parts of India. Now, it’s happening to us right here. It has caused us a lot of distress, and even more of anxiety. We have decided to go ahead with the legal proceedings,” he said.

The actor also posted the permission slip the team had received to build the set in the area, countering the claims of Hindutva vandals who destroyed the property that they had no permission.

Right-wing groups demolished the sets of a church constructed for filming Tovino Thomas’s upcoming superhero film Minnal Murali (Lightning Murali). The film’s producer Sofia Paul said, in a statement, “Minnal Murali is an ambitious super hero project which is under production and we have filmed almost a major portion of the film. The film required almost two years of preproduction and planning owing to the scope and scale. The remaining portions of the movie will be shot as soon as restrictions for movie production is lifted. The next schedule is planned in Kaalady and we had constructed a massive set of a church where the climax was to be shot. Unfortunately due to the pandemic we couldn’t resume the shoot and were waiting for government guidance regarding the permissions to resume shoot. The set at Kaalady was planned and built for one of our most important scenes. All required permissions to build the set at the location was taken. Today’s incident is so unfortunate and a colossal loss.”

In a show of brazenness, Hari Palode, the State General Secretary of AHP (AntarRashtriya Hindu Parishad) has shared the images of the sets being destroyed and signed the message off with his mobile number on his Facebook account. Hari claims the set was destroyed as it was near a temple in Kaalady. He also claimed that they ‘warned’ against the building of the set there. “We do not have the habit of begging so we demolished it,” he said. He also thanked the Bajrang Dal, the youth wing of Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Ernakulam President, VHP, Malayatoor Ratheesh, for demolishing the sets.

The film’s director Basil Joseph too posted a message on his Facebook page. “I don’t know what to say. For some this may be funny, or for politics, but for us this was a dream. I was proud that this was a set of our movie. The art designer and the crew worked under the hot sun to make this set. At this time (lockdown due to Corona) we didn’t expect such a thing to happen,” he wrote. He also said that all necessary permissions were taken and the producer had spent a huge amount of money on this.

 

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Minnal Murali’s first schedule at Wayanad had been in progress when the set for the second schedule began construction at Kalady. It was carried out by art director Manu Jagad and team, under special instructions by stunt choreographer Vlad Rimburg. For this, we had the rightful permissions from the concerned authorities.And as we were about to start shooting in this set – which was built on a considerable cost, the whole country went into lockdown, following which our shoot was paused, just like all others’. It is during this prevailing uncertainty that this contractual set was destroyed by a group of racialists yesterday. The reasons they cite for this unceremonious act are not understood to our senses till now. We’ve heard of movie sets being vandalised by religious fanatics in Northern parts of India. Now, it’s happening to us right here. It has caused us a lot of distress, and even more of anxiety. We have decided to go ahead with the legal proceedings. മിന്നൽ മുരളി ആദ്യ ഷെഡ്യൂൾ വയനാട്ടിൽ നടന്നു കൊണ്ടിരുന്നതിനൊപ്പമാണു , രണ്ടാം ഷെഡ്യൂളിലെ ക്ലൈമാക്സ് ഷൂട്ടിനു വേണ്ടി ആക്ഷൻ കോറിയോഗ്രാഫർ വ്ലാഡ് റിംബർഗിന്റെ‌ നിർദ്ദേശപ്രകാരം ആർട്ട് ഡയറക്ടർ മനു ജഗദും ടീമും ഉത്തരവാദിത്തപ്പെട്ടവരുടെ അനുമതിയോടെ സെറ്റ് നിർമ്മാണം ആരംഭിച്ചത്.ലക്ഷക്കണക്കിന് രൂപ മുടക്കി നിർമ്മിച്ച ഈ സെറ്റിൽ ഷൂട്ടിംഗ് ആരംഭിക്കുന്നതിനു തൊട്ട് മുൻപാണു നമ്മുടെ രാജ്യത്ത് ലോക്ക് ഡൗൺ പ്രഖ്യാപിക്കു‌ന്നതും , ഞങ്ങളുടേതുൾപ്പടെ എല്ലാ സിനിമകളുടെയും ഷൂട്ടിംഗ് നിർത്തി വയ്ക്കുന്നതും. വീണ്ടും ഷൂട്ടിംഗ് എന്നു ആരംഭിക്കാൻ കഴിയുമോ അന്ന് ഷൂട്ട് ചെയ്യുന്നതിന് വേണ്ടി നിലനിർത്തിയിരുന്ന സെറ്റാണു ഇന്നലെ യാതൊരു മുന്നറിയിപ്പുമില്ലാതെ ഒരു കൂട്ടം വർഗ്ഗീയവാദികൾ തകർത്തത്.അതിനവർ നിരത്തുന്ന‌ കാരണങ്ങളൊന്നും ഈ നിമിഷം വരെ‌ ഞങ്ങൾക്കാർക്കും മനസ്സിലായിട്ടുമില്ല. വടക്കേ ഇന്ത്യയിലൊക്കെ മതഭ്രാന്തിന്റെ‌ പേരിൽ സിനിമകളും ലൊക്കേഷനുകളുമൊക്കെ ആക്രമിക്കപ്പെടുന്നത് നമുക്ക് ഇതു വരെ കേട്ടു കേൾവി മാത്രമായിരുന്നിടത്താണു ഞങ്ങൾക്കീ അനുഭവമുണ്ടായിരിക്കുന്നത്‌.. ഒരുപാട് വിഷമം ഉണ്ട് അതിലേറെ ആശങ്കയും . അതുകൊണ്ടു തന്നെ നിയമനടപടികളുമായി മുന്നോട്ടു പോവുകയാണ് . #minnalmurali

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