The veteran actor attributed his exclusion from the film "Chiristian Brothers" to the rise of "mafia" in Malayalam film industry
Hurt after being dropped from the film Christian Brothers, Padma Shri awardee actor Thilakan has threatened to stage a sit in, attributing his exclusion from the movie to the rise of “mafia” in trade unions in Malayalam film industry.
The 74-year-old actor told PTI that producers of the film excluded him on a direction from Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA) which is irked by him for acting in a film directed by Vinayan. Mr. Vinayan had formed the first technicians’ body, Malayalam Cine Technicians’ Association (MACTA) last year after splitting from FEFKA.
Mr. Thilakan has decided to stage a sit-in at the location of Christian Brothers if he is not allowed to act in the film. The actor said that he was being replaced by another actor (Saikumar) on a direction from FEFKA.
Subair, the film’s producer, confirmed the news and said, “They (FEFKA) told me to exclude Thilakan and though I had given him an advance, I had to change him to get on with my film.”
Mr. Thilakan also alleged that dropping him from the film was at the behest of a superstar. “Is Malayalam cinema the domain of superstars only?” he asked.
He also added that FEFKA had also directed its members not to co-operate with Mr. Vinayan, who had to bring in technicians from outside the state for his new film Yakshiyum Nhanum. This had the support of “some executive members” of Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA), Mr. Thilakan said.
FEFKA general secretary and director B. Unnikrishnan was being controlled by certain superstars who had their own interests, Mr. Thilakan alleged. Mr. Unnikrishnan, however, refused to comment on the actor’s charge.
Asked whether trade unionism had crept into the industry, Mr. Thilakan said, “Backstabbing politics in Malayalam filmdom had made film outfits worse than trade unions.” “Trade unions at least have a framework within which they work. The film outfits, formed for the welfare of its members, are serving only the superstars who in turn get the backing of producers and distributors,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mr. Vinayan said those who were working behind the undeclared ‘ban’ on eminent actors like Mr. Thilakan were “slaving” for the superstars. “These people do not even have the courage to openly admit that there is a ban,” he said.
Mr. Vinayan said MACTA was ready to help Mr. Thilakan for staging a sit-in at the location of Christian Brothers if he was not allowed to act in the film.
All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), to which MACTA is affiliated, has also offered support to Mr. Thilakan in his fight against the “undesirable tendencies” of film organisations, said AITUC leader Kanam Rajendran.