(This article was first published on 5 July 2018 and has been reposted from The Quint’s archives.)
Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam
It’s clear from the kind of backlash AMMA has received that it’s not good for the reputation of the organisation or individuals in it. This includes all of us, including me. The necessity to revoke this decision becomes extremely critical in that light.Padmapriya, Actor/Member, Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA)
Padmapriya was one of the three actors, including Revathy and Parvathy, who wrote to the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) asking for an emergency meeting, after the organisation reinducted rape-accused actor Dileep into their ranks on 26 June 2018.
In February 2017, a Malayalam actress was abducted and allegedly assaulted by four men, who also reportedly took photographs of the incident. Dileep was accused of being the one who plotted and ordered the assault over an alleged personal vendetta.
Dileep was removed from AMMA after public outrage over the incident. However, after actor Mohanlal was made President of the association, the organisation reinducted Dileep into its fold in its annual meeting on 26 June.
Even if you don’t care for the survivor, the by-laws of AMMA are very clear. Any misconduct by a member will call for temporary suspension or expulsion. What was the logic and why the haste in the way the expelled member was brought back in? Especially since it could have legal ramifications for the organisation and the member potentially.Padmapriya
Dileep, who has acted in over 130 Malayalam films is accused of, among other crimes, gang rape, criminal intimidation, causing the disappearance of evidence, and criminal conspiracy.
'What About the Survivor?'
Four members of AMMA, the survivor, Rima Kallingal, Remya Nambeesan and Geetu Mohandas resigned from the Association after Dileep was reinducted.
Over 100 actors also wrote to AMMA condemning the decision.
Fourteen actors said they wouldn't join AMMA, after Dileep was reinducted.
We’ve been talking about the expelled member but not hearing the survivor’s voice. The survivor has received little to no support from AMMA except for a few people who spoke up when the assault happened. But that isn’t enough. What constructive steps have been taken? What steps could have been taken, and if they’ve not been taken, why?Padmapriya
In their letter to AMMA general secretary Edavela Babu, Padmapriya, Parvathy and Revathy asked for an emergency meeting on 13 or 14 July, to discuss four key points including the steps AMMA has taken to help the survivor.
While AMMA has agreed to a meeting on the points, they are yet to confirm a date for the same, and have not stated whether the meeting would include the actors who asked for it.
Kerala has actually given a space to speak out, and you have to appreciate that. While patriarchy and sexism exist, which we must confront, the fact that we’ve created a space to bring this out in the open and have a conversation, is a great step forward.Padmapriya
(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.)