AMMA chief superstar Mohanlal on Monday said the actors’ body could have split if accused actor Dileep had not been removed following the kidnapping of a Malayalam actress. He denied there was any male dominance in the organization.
Facing the media for the first time after he took over as president of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes, Mohanlal said: “Had a decision then not been taken, maybe AMMA would have even split,” said Mohanlal. Dileep was removed from other film bodies too.
The decision to oust Dileep was taken in 2017 at an emergency executive meeting held at actor Mammootty’s house, following the February kidnapping in Kochi. “At that time it was one that had to be taken.”
Dileep is now out on bail after languishing in a Kerala jail for 85 days.
In June, another row over Dileep started after it surfaced that in the first meeting of AMMA after Mohanlal took over, Dileep’s membership was reinstated.
It led to four leading actresses, including the victim, quitting AMMA and another 14 actresses announcing their decision against joining AMMA that “lacks fairness”, while three sought an emergency meeting to discuss the revocation of the suspension.
Elaborating on the current row over the decision of the annual general body meeting to revoke the suspension of Dileep, Mohanlal said that on that day not a single member was against taking Dileep back.
“We are bound by the decision of the general body and since none opposed to taking back Dileep, it was done.
“But now things have changed. As a furor broke out and Dileep himself sent a letter saying he is not interested to be a member of AMMA, Dileep is not a member now.”
However, he added: “Maybe, once his case is over and if he is exonerated, he might return.”
On the quick departures of some AMMA members (who are all key members of the newly formed Women in Cinema Collective (WCC), the actor said only two — Remya Nambisan and Bhavana have resigned.
Denying any form of male dominance in the organization, Mohanlal said: “Any member of ours can stand up and ask any question. None of them was present at the meeting and also it’s not right to say that members were prevented to contest to the AMMA executive.”
Mohanlal clarified that the victim was given all the necessary emotional support by AMMA. “I had asked her to join a stage show in Muscat and told her not to remain aloof, but she did not accept the invite.”
He said it was unfortunate that at the height of the controversy there were demands that AMMA should be wound up.
“AMMA has 484 members of which 248 are males. It gives out a monthly pension of Rs 5,000 each to 143 members and provides medical insurance to all the members. Besides we are doing a lot of charity work.
“So this is a body formed for our welfare. Actors from several other states have said that this is something unique. Such a body does not exist in any other state on this scale,” added Mohanlal.
Mohanlal said AMMA has also accepted the demand for calling an urgent meeting by three prominent actresses — Revathy Asha Kelunni, Padmapriya Janakiraman, and A. Parvathy. “It can take place either July end or early August.