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AMMA Reinstates Dileep; Women Members Resign In Retaliation

Malayalam actresses protest

The moment of joy turned to injustice as in the first general body meeting of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) after the election of veteran actor Mohanlal, he reinstated actor Dileep. Actor Dileep is undergoing a trial for allegedly planning the abduction of popular Malayalam actress Parvathy in February 2017. As the decision of taking him back in AMMA  finalised, Parvathy along with three other prominent members of the collective – Rima Kallingal, Remya Nambeeshan and director Geetu Mohandas resigned from it in protest.

These members had also formed a separate association after Parvathy suffered the assault called Women in Cinema Collective. She wrote a personal note where she expressed her trauma. “Prior to this, this actor (Dileep) has snatched away opportunities of acting from me. When I had complained at that time, AMMA did not act seriously on my complaint. And when such a terrible incident happened, an organisation that I am also a part of, tried to protect the man who has been accused of the crime. Realising that there is no purpose in being a part of such an organisation, I hereby resign.”

Several other organizations like the Mahila Congress and All India Youth Federation (AIYF) have supported the WCC members and staged protest marches in Alapuzha and in front of the Film Chamber of Commerce in Ernakulam where they burnt the effigy of Mohanlal respectively, reported Manorama Online.

Even the Network of Women in Media (NWMI) strongly condemned AMMA for reinstating Dileep and extended support to the Malayalam women artists for taking a firm stand. “We salute the members of the WCC who openly risked their career opportunities by resigning from AMMA in disgust at the misogynistic treatment of a survivor of sexual assault. We recall with pride that the beacon of self-respecting women in the film industry was first kindled in India in February 2017, when the rape-survivor from Malayalam movie industry boldly spoke out, months before Hollywood woke up to the #MeToo movement.”

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It added, “It is with dismay that we note that within a week of Padmashri Mohanlal taking over as the president of AMMA, he re-admitted Dileep to the organisation. The National Award-winning actor has also received the honorary title of lieutenant colonel and it is unbecoming that the organisation should take such an insensitive decision under his leadership.”

 It is with dismay that we note that within a week of Padmashri Mohanlal taking over as the president of AMMA, he re-admitted Dileep to the organisation. The National Award-winning actor has also received the honorary title of lieutenant colonel and it is unbecoming that the organisation should take such an insensitive decision under his leadership.

On June 28, three other members of WCC who continue to be the members of AMMA as well issued a letter to the film body where they pointed out that the collective did not consult with them about the decision and demanded to know the basis on which the association welcomed him again.

NWMI further stated in its statement, “Dileep, alleged to be the conspirator of the abduction and molestation of a colleague, is more than only the seventh accused in the actor-molestation case. He is an actor, producer, distributor and movie-house owner and has been in the steering committees of all these guilds. The woman who survived the sexual assault, had earlier complained to AMMA that this powerful man from the industry had been influencing producers to avoid casting her. Instead of supporting her, AMMA jumped at the chance to re-instate Dileep’s membership, unabashedly revealing its oligarchic and patriarchal beliefs.”