And to those voices I apologise. For, at an age and time when I wasn’t wise enough, I have been part of films that celebrated misogyny. I have mouthed lines that vilified regard for your self-respect and I have taken a bow to the claps that ensued,” wrote Malayalam actor Prithviraj Sukumaran on Facebook. His post comes a few days after a well-known Malayalam woman actor was sexually assaulted. The incident opened the conversation on misogyny in Malayalam films.
Sukumaran, a National Award winner and a major name in Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu films, had voiced his support for the actor earlier and returned to Facebook on Saturday. “NEVER AGAIN, never again will I let disrespect for women be celebrated in my movies. Yes, I’m an actor and this is my craft. I will wholeheartedly trudge the grey and black with characters that possess unhinged moral compasses but I will never let these men be glorified or their actions justified on screen,” he wrote.
The Malayalam film industry has been vocal in its support for the woman actor, from top stars Mohanlal and Mammootty to the younger lot of Dulquer Salmaan and Nivin Pauly. “Some of the most poignant moments in my life have been punctuated with moments of incredible courage. Courage from what I have now fully realised are God’s most benevolent yet intricate creations. WOMEN. … I have repeatedly been dumbfounded in realising how much of a lesser being I am in the company of the women in my life.”
The woman actor has decided to continue working. Sukumaran wrote, “And today, as my dear friend walks to the sets to kick-start the shooting of her new film ‘ADAM’, I once again bear witness to an extraordinary moment of courage from an extraordinary woman in my life. Today, she makes a statement, a statement that will echo through time, space and gender, that no one or no incident has control over your life but YOU… A statement that you my friend are making in a million unheard voices.” Sukumaran made his Bollywood debut with Anurag Kashyap’s Aiyyaa and will be seen in Naam Shabana with Tapasi Pannu.