Kerala

Empty chairs at event to support female actor in Kozhikode

A painting exhibition held on the sidelines of an event organised by women’s groups in support of the female actor in the actor assault case, in Kozhikode on Wednesday.

A painting exhibition held on the sidelines of an event organised by women’s groups in support of the female actor in the actor assault case, in Kozhikode on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: K. Ragesh

The Kozhikode Town Hall often sees a jam-packed audience for any random cultural event. It, however, had empty chairs on Wednesday afternoon as a group of women’s organisations joined hands to support the female actor who was allegedly assaulted five years ago.

Deedi Damodaran, filmmaker, and member of the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC), did not look surprised. “If this hall was full of people, there would have been no need to hold this event at all. Ever since the assault on the actor happened and the WCC was formed, we have found only two kinds of people: those who supported her and those who did not. People who observed a passive silence on the issue also belong to the second category,” she said.

One of the resolutions passed at the event was to make public the report of the Hema Committee, which inquired into the working conditions in the Malayalam film industry. “The committee was formed in 2017 July, and its report was submitted on 2019 December 31. Around ₹2 crore was spent from the public exchequer, and statements of many people were recorded. The report should be made public after legally ensuring privacy of the victims whose comments were included in it,” the resolution said.

The participants also are planning to send a memorandum to the Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court to change the trial judge in the Additional Sessions Court, Ernakulam, who is hearing the case. “From the unfair situation which warranted the two special prosecutors citing that they were repeatedly denied opportunity to conduct the case fairly, it can evidently be seen that the judge is totally biased. Thereafter also, the trial judge has continued her biased and hostile attitude towards the prosecution, and she has been acting favourably towards the eighth accused [actor Dileep] and his counsels,” their letter said.

Ms. Damodaran pointed out that there were many who promised to turn up at the event when they were invited. They, however, were found to be silent and unavailable over phone later. “If at least 10 members in each women’s organisation affiliated to major political parties had tried honestly, they could have brought more people here,” she said. The others who spoke included K. Ajitha, activist, and Khadeeja Mumthas, writer.


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Printable version | Jul 20, 2022 11:30:58 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/empty-chairs-at-event-to-support-female-actor-in-kozhikode/article65608422.ece