Various trade unions within the Malayalam cinema industry have lined up behind actor Mohanlal after several movie directors, technicians and writers objected to the Kerala government’s plan to invite him as a special guest for the state film awards ceremony.
The Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA), headed by Mohanlal, and other prominent unions wrote to chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan to probe the real motive behind the mass petition signed by 107 people against the government’s proposal.
The credibility of the mass petition came into question when Prakash Raj, whose name tops the list, said that he never signed such a petition. He said that he had no problem in Mohanlal gracing the award ceremony though he was disappointed with the AMMA’s decision to take back Dileep, an accused in a case of sexual harassment of an actress.
Along with the AMMA, the Kerala Film Chamber of Commerce, the Kerala Film Producers Association, the Film Distributors’ Association (Kerala), the Film Exhibitors’ United Organisation of Kerala and the Film Employees Federation of Kerala have urged the chief minister to probe any conspiracy behind the mass petition.
Though the mass petition urges the government to revisit the idea of having a chief guest at the awards ceremony, the signatories’ ultimate aim seems to be cornering Mohanlal, the unions alleged. Some of the signatories had revealed their ‘agenda’ days ahead of the publication of the petition, the unions alleged.
Veteran filmmaker and Kerala State Chalachitra Academy chairman Kamal also had alleged political motive behind the move. Kamal said he would not oppose if the government decides to invite Mohanlal to the function. “It is up to the chief minister and the government to take a call on who should be invited,” he said.
Mohanlal had come under severe criticism ever since the new AMMA general body led by him made a sly but failed attempt to re-induct actor Dileep into the actors’ body.