The movie was rated as a Sangh Parivar agenda, but through Hindustan Samachar's efforts to establish a link between Mukundan and RSS-BJP ended in a fiasco.
Thiruvananthapuram, 17 January(HS): The Malayalam film industry has been polarised into Halal movies and Non-Halal movies thanks to massive campaigns and propaganda by Islamic fundamentalists. The division, which was confined to hush-hush discussions among the film fraternity, came out in the open by Saturday on social media and by a section of the media that targeted Meppadiyan, a film featuring Unni Mukundan, a young actor belonging to the Nair community.
The movie was rated as a Sangh Parivar agenda, but through Hindustan Samachar's efforts to establish a link between Mukundan and RSS-BJP ended in a fiasco. Mukundan, in his early 30s, is the most handsome actor around and is blessed with natural acting skills. All his movies were runaway hits. A section of actors, their sidekicks, are upset over his popularity in Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu movies.
The new generation of actors hail mostly from the Muslim community, and they include Fahad Fazil (son of movie maker Fazil), Dulquer Salmaan (son of Mammootty), Asif Ali, who rules the roost of the so-called New Gen Movies.
The young breed of moviemakers includes Aashiq Abu (a protégé of Islamic fundamentalist organisations like Jamaat-e-Islami and Popular Front of India). "You take a list of the films released in Malayalam over the last ten years, and you will understand this communal polarisation. The films produced and directed by Muslims will have only actors and technicians belonging to their community," said a senior technician who has many award-winning works behind him. But he does not want to disclose his identity as he belongs to the CPI (M), and if his name is revealed, the party and the Government in Kerala will make life difficult for him.
Social media has been on fire for the last three days as Hindus are countering Twitter and Facebook messages portraying Meppadiyan. "They are silent about movies featuring Mammootty. Though director Abu is yet to qualify as a moviemaker, his works like Salt and Pepper, which would not have graduated into a full-length feature film was projected as a box-office hit. This is ridiculous," said the filmmaker with CPI (M) leanings.
This comes immediately after Islamic fundamentalist organisations tried to derail Suresh Gopi starring Kaval, Mohan Lal's Kunjali Marikkar, which Hindustan Samachar reported in our dispatches from Thiruvananthapuram. Well-dressed people approached filmgoers standing in the queue to collect the tickets for the shows with requests to boycott the movie starring Fascists and Sanghis, an obvious reference to Suresh Gopi, a BJP MP and Mohan Lal (belonging to the Nair community).
Suresh Kumar, a national award-winning movie maker, has been quoted in the national media as saying that there was an attempt by some sections of the Kerala society to sabotage the prospects of movies made by certain movie houses, and this was a dangerous move. Reviews by movie critics speak volumes about their intention and agenda.
Anna Keerthi George, who claims she has a post-graduate degree in Mass Communication, has described the film as a Sangh Parivar propaganda movie. "The hero has been portrayed as a Hindu Nair. He is a Lord Ayyappa worshiper and shows no hesitation in helping a Christian family, even as Christians and Muslims in the area attack him. The dialogues are sub-standard, and the film has a hidden agenda," says this lady who is known for her evangelisation works. "We will soon see her making a movie financed by Islamic fundamentalists," said a batch mate of hers in Puthussery.