Days after Malayalam actor Prithviraj was targeted online by members of the right-wing for expressing his support for the people of Lakshadweep, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has backed the actor. Prithviraj had in a Facebook post spoken up for the people of Lakshadweep after the islanders reached out to him regarding the issues created by the Administrator Praful Patel.
On Saturday (May 29) evening's press meet, CM Pinarayi was asked about the online campaign against the actor, to which he replied that the ‘Sangh Parivar is showing the same intolerance towards the actor’ that they did towards everyone else. The Chief Minister added that more people should be ready to come out and speak out as Prithviraj did and that it was a natural sentiment that the people of Kerala had towards the islanders.
“The sentiments expressed by the actor on Lakshadweep is that of the Kerala society and this comes naturally to anyone living in the state,” he said. “Prithviraj expressed it in the right way. Like Prithviraj, everyone should be ready to come forward in such matters,” the chief minister told reporters in response to a question.
Prithviraj had asked in his post, “How does disrupting the way of life of a centuries old peaceful settlement become an acceptable means of progress? How will threatening the balance of a very delicate island ecosystem with no regard for the potential consequences pave the way for sustainable development?”
Former Opposition Leader of the Congress party, Ramesh Chennithala, had also come in support of the actor when members of the right-wing abused and trolled the actor online. Chennithala said that one should keep people like Prithviraj, who speak out against the Sangh Parivar without fear, close.
Other politicians like Lok Sabha member TN Prathapan, former minister and Member of Assembly Kadakampally Surendran also expressed support for the actor, who was slandered by right-wing news channel Janam TV after his post. Janam TV later withdrew the post.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and actor Suresh Gopi also expressed support by asking people to criticise without hurting others, but without mentioning any names including Prithviraj’s. "Let Dignity and Integrity be your Sword when you criticize. Keep protected Integrity, Dignity, Decency and let Emotions be PURE and SINCERE (sic)," Suresh Gopi posted on Facebook.
(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)