Kerala

Director refuses to share stage with budding actor

A video grab of Bineesh Bastin sitting on the stage floor in protest while Anil Radhakrishnan Menon is addressing the audience.

A video grab of Bineesh Bastin sitting on the stage floor in protest while Anil Radhakrishnan Menon is addressing the audience.  

Anil Radhakrishnan Menon faces flak for college union function incident

Director Anil Radhakrishnan Menon of North 24 Katham fame attracted severe criticism for refusing to share the stage with budding actor Bineesh Bastin at a function held at Government Medical College here on Thursday.

Mr. Bastin had been invited as the chief guest to the function at which Mr. Menon was to release a magazine brought out by the college students union.

As Mr. Menon refused to share the stage with Mr. Bastin considering him a “third-rate actor looking for a chance in films,” the organisers approached Mr. Bastin and asked him to come after the magazine release function.

Humiliated by Mr. Menon’s stand, and the organisers’ subservience to “an egregiously unjust demand,” Mr. Bastin walked on to the stage and sat on the floor. The embarrassed organisers were aghast as he read out his protest: “I’m not an upper caste person, and I have not won a national award. I’m a mason who has done many insignificant roles in films…. Caste or religion is not the matter. I too am a human being.”

Medical college Principal T.B. Culas had tried to stop Mr. Bastin when he reached the venue. Dr. Culas had even threatened to call the police when the actor proceeded to mount the attack.

The incident turned viral on the social media, dampening the spirit of the 63rd Kerala Day celebrations.

Menon apologises

Mr. Menon has since apologised to Mr. Bastin. He denied having described Mr. Bastin as a third-rate actor.

“I never refused to share the stage with him... All are doing the same job irrespective of their stature. I’m sorry. Bineesh, I’m really sorry,” he told a television channel. But students union chairman K. Vaishnav said that they had to request Mr. Bastin to come after an hour as Mr. Menon refused to share the stage with him.

Minister for Welfare of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Backward Classes A.K. Balan said that the government would take action if Mr. Bastin was found to have been humiliated. He said he would seek an explanation from the principal.

The Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA) has sought an explanation from Mr. Menon. FEFKA general secretary B. Unnikrishnan described the incident as shameful.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 8:17:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/filmmakers-act-mars-kerala-day-spirit/article29856355.ece

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