Women

Women Across Academia, Activism, Art Condemn Reinstating Actor Dileep

The signatories have issued a statement expressing their discontent over the decision and solidarity with women in cinema.

New Delhi: Following the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA)’s decision to revoke the expulsion of actor Dileep, several women feminists, academics, writers, artists, lawyers and activists have come to together to “express their severe discontent” over the actor’s reinstatement.

Dileep is one of the accused implicated in the kidnapping and sexual assault of a popular Malayalam actor in February 2017. The survivor in the case has since quit the AMMA.

Describing themselves as keen followers of Malayalam cinema, the signatories have condemned the AMMA’s misogyny in supporting the alleged perpetrator of sexual violence against a colleague. They have extended their support and solidarity to the members of Women in Cinema Collective and the stance taken by the members who have resigned protesting Dileep’s reinstatement.

The full statement is reproduced below.

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With utmost shock and concern we watch the recent development in Malayalam film industry that led to the resignation of four actors from the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) This decision to take actor Dileep back into its fold shows the utter disregard AMMA as an association holds towards the survivor of a sexual assault. Dileep, the seventh accused and the alleged primary conspirator of the incident that involves the abduction and molestation of an actor, is also accused of influencing producers from casting the survivor. In such a crisis, instead of supporting the survivor, the association expressed its misogyny through a travesty, performed in its fund-raising fete, with Mammootty and Mohanlal- the superstars as its highlights, ridiculing the Women’s Collective that was formed to address women’s issues in the industry. This, is not conducive to a civilised society and cannot be the accepted culture of an industry that has a formative role in determining of the consciousness of a society.

Malayalam film industry has its compelling claim to treating cinema as a responsible medium, at par with many important film cultures of the world. Given the context, this behavior is unexpected and unacceptable from a trade union that claims to represent the majority of its actors. It is outrageous that AMMA firmly chooses to be on the wrong side of the movement against sexual harassment within the film industries worldwide in the wake of the #MeToo campaign and Harvey Weinstein follow ups in the Hollywood.

What adds to our worries is that the body is headed by people’s representatives who associate with the ruling political party in Kerala. We request CPIM to seriously consider discussing with these elected representatives the implications of their act. It is also sad to point out that AMMA did not consider the potential of exploring the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, a legislative act in India that seeks to protect women from sexual harassment at their place of work in this specific case or during any instances of harassment charges reported by women within its collective.

We extend our whole-hearted support to the members of the Women’s Collective who have resigned from the Association, pledging support to the survivor and also trying to take pro-active roles in engaging with women’s question in the industry. We appreciate the statement issued by AIDWA state committee in this regard and hope CPI(M) and other organisations look into this seriously and communicate to AMMA the preposterousness of this absurd action. We also request the Government of Kerala to take immediate action to protect the survivor and to be cautious about chances of tampering with evidence in the on-going case involving Dileep.

 

Uma Chakravarti Feminist Historian, Documentary Film Maker

Deepa Dhanraj, Documentary Film maker

 Susie Tharu, Former Professor of English and Cultural Studies, The English and Foreign Languages University.

Flavia Agnes, Women’s Rights Lawyer,

Tejaswini Niranjana, Trustee, Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore

Arunima, Professor Centre for Women’s Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University

A.K. Ramakrishnan, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Mary E John, Senior Fellow, Centre for Women’s Development Studies, New Delhi

Janaki Nair, Professor, Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Anandhi, Professor, Madras Institute of Development Studies

 Deeptha Achar, Professor, Faculty of Arts, M S University, Baroda

 Rashmimala, Visual Artist,Vadodara

Nilima Sheikh, Artist, Baroda

Nalini Malani, Artist, Mumbai

Deepak Mathew, Professor and Head, Department of Design, IIT Hyderabad

Lalitha, Writer, Anveshi Research Centre Hyderabad

Dr. Veena Shatrugna, Medical Scientist, Hyderabad

Dr. Janaky Abraham, Delhi University

Dr. Suneetha, Co-ordinator Anveshi Research Centre Hyderabad

Satish Poduval, Professor, The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad

T.T. Sreekumar, Professor, The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad

Kaneez Fathima, Civil Rights Activist Hyderabad

K Anuradha,  Aman Vedika , Hyderabad

Ranjit T, The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad.

Khalida Parveen, Activist Amoomat Society Hyderabad

Sarah Mathews,  Sankalp, Women’s Support Alliance, Hyderabad

Madhumeeta Sinha, The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad

V J Varghese, University of Hyderabad.

Asma Rasheed, The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad

Ratheesh Kumar, Assistant Professor, JNU, New Delhi

Satyavati K.,  Bhumika Women’s Collective, Hyderabad

Rachana Mudraboyina, Telangana  Hijra Intersex Samiti

Sajaya,Caring Citizen’s Collective, Hyderabad

Nikhat Fathima, Activist, Chennai

Uma Bhrugubanda , The English and Foreign Languages University

Vasudha Nagaraj, Advocate, Hyderabad

Tejaswini Madhubhushi ,    Hyderabad for Feminism

Gitanjali Joshua,  Hyderabad for Feminism

Seetha Lakshmi, Independent Researcher and Consultant Hyderabad

Shalini Mahadev,   Hyderabad for Feminism

Sujatha Sureppally, Professor, Satavahana University

Rama Melkote, Former Professor of Political Science,   Osmania University, Hyderabad

Dr.Arathi. PM, Assistant Professor, Council for Social Development, New Delhi

Sherin B.S. English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad

Deepti Sreeram, Research Associate, MAHE, Manipal

Ria De, Research Scholar in Film Studies, EFLU Hyderabad

Praveena Thali, Research Scholar in Women’s Studies, University of Hyderabad

Ummul Fayiza, PhD Candidate, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Devi, Cultural Activist Hyderabad

Ashalatha, Women’s Rights Activist, Hyderabad

Vimala Morthala Writer, Activist, Hyderabad

V Sandhya National Convener POW

Girija B Independent Researcher

Ms. Sunitha, Ankuram Women and Child Development Society Hyderabad

Ms. Sumithra, Ankuram Women and Child Development Society

Shraddha Chickerur, Hyderabad for Feminism

Sreerag P. Research Scholar& Student Union President, University of Hyderabad,

Chaitanya Pingali, Writer, Lyricist, Hyderabad

Shefali Jain, Assistant Professor, Ambedkar University, New Delhi

Abha Bhaiya, Sangat South Asian Feminist Network, NewDelhi

Gautami Challagulla- Screenwriter, Independent Film maker, Hyderbad

Pamela Philippose Journalist and Researcher, New Delhi

Manjusha Madhu, PhD scholar, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Gayatri Nair, Tata Institue of Social Sciences, Hyderabad

Thulasi, Journalist, Hyderabad

Brinelle D’souza, Asst. Professor, Tata Institue of Social Sciences

Padma Velaskar Prof (retd) ,Tata Institute of Social Sciences

Bindu Menon, Lady Shri Ram College for Women, New Delhi

Professor SAMITA SEN, Dean, Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies, Jadavpur University

Nisha Biswas, scientist and activist

Julia George Streevani

Kamayani Bali Mahabal Feminist and Human Rights Activist

Geeta Seshu, Journalist, Mumbai

Lekha Narayanan, Artist, Hyderabad

Sharmila Samant Artist, Associate Prof, SNU, Dept of Arts,

Bittu Karthik, University of Hyderabad

Dipti Tamang, Darjeeling Government College

Jhuma Sen, O.P. Jindal Global University

Sadhna Arya, Satyawati College, University of Delhi.

S.Seetha Lakshmi   Independent Researcher and Consultant Hyderabad

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