If Dileep Was Innocent, Why Did You Expel Him, Cong MLA Asks AMMA

On Monday, the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) opened the doors for Dileep’s return to the film body.

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File photo of actor Dileep.
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Two days after Dileep was welcomed back into Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA), Congress MLA PT Thomas has flayed the film body’s move and the shocking silence from cultural figures in the society.

If AMMA believes that Dileep was innocent, they should answer the question on why he was expelled from the body then. Not just the Women’s Cinema Collective but the whole of Kerala is concerned about the issue, hence AMMA is answerable to the entire society; it’s a crucial question.
PT Thomas, Congress MLA 

Dileep is the 11th accused in the case of abduction and sexual assault of a Malayalam actor, and the trial is yet to begin.

Thomas represents the Thrikkakara constituency and had played a crucial role in exposing the crime, by informing the police.

Thomas also points out the ethical issue in taking back Dileep, when he hasn’t yet been acquitted in the case. "The AMMA, which didn't show the decency of waiting till the verdict in the case was out, should confess that expelling Dileep was wrong. The body of movie actors should have a social commitment too."

"The people who admire actors when they speak up against injustice in reel life, would rather expect that they would do the same in real life too,” Thomas says, adding:

I was the only legislator who participated in the protest organised by AMMA at Durbar hall ground in Kochi against the crime soon after the case was reported. At that time, I believed that they were sincere, but their protest ended with that.

He also shares the concern that those who oppose AMMA's decision, don't have a platform to raise their objections.

"Even for WCC, there's no public platform to raise their voice, only social media platforms.”

The legislator also slammed the 'shocking silence' of the cultural figures in the state on the issue. "Those who even claim that they are social reformers, are silent on AMMA's act of taking back Dileep. Even from the film world, only a few like Joy Mathew have reacted, the others are moving with the flow. This must be because of the financial and other influence, the actors' body wields", he believes.

He also criticised actors Mukesh, KB Ganesh Kumar and Innocent, who are also Left MLAs and MP respectively, for their silence on the issue. "They are people's representatives who are part of the film world and AMMA as well. But not even once, have they raised the issue in the Assembly, they are silent now also. The fact that they don't demand an answer from AMMA is shocking."

The expulsion of Dileep was an unprecedented move in the history of AMMA, which kindled the hope that the film body was acting tough on untoward practices in the film industry. However, the actor’s return reinforces the feeling that Malayalam cinema is being controlled by a powerful group of select people. On being asked about this, Thomas says that professionals from the film world should answer.

(Published in an arrangement with The News Minute.)

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