KOCHI: Saturday morning jolted the Malayalam film industry from its reverie. The news that an actress was mercilessly assaulted in a moving car suddenly threw light to the fact that women, irrespective of her privileges, are at peril.
All the leading stars took to social media to express their shock and resentment over the issue.
In a strong-worded statement, Mohanlal, who has shared screen with the actor many times, said the incident was most unfortunate. "Such acts should not only be condemned vehemently by one and all but exemplary punishment should be handed out to these criminals who are worse than animals so that it serves as a lesson to similar-minded characters who I will not even term as humans," (sic).
Dulquer Salman also lashed out against the criminals and hoped that the police bring them to justice. "Including myself and our industry, I request all our boys and men, young and old to be alert and vigilant. It's equally our responsibility to care about, look out for, and to respect and protect our women," (sic).
Actor Prithviraj, in a hard-hitting post, vented his angst. Expressing his support to the actor, he said he was shocked to hear the news. He added that he refrained from commenting on the issue because all responses will only be "fodder to click baits and TRP mongering". He wrote in his Facebook post, “By now, all that can be said about the security of women in our matriarchal/matrilineal God's own country has already been said. And yes..as a man who has to share the responsibility of a society that bears this shame, I hang my head! But please..the most we can collectively do at this moment is to respect the guts of this girl. (sic).
Nivin Pauly, meanwhile, appealed the media and public to show respect and sensitivity on the issue. In a long post, Nivin said: "To all those criminals out there who thought you had scared a girl to silence with your violent, disgusting ways, understand that you only ignited a stronger fire in her, and in every other girl. Our colleague, our friend went through a horrific experience, but she did not shy away, she did not hide. Instead, she has made all of you run into hiding, and run for your lives. We all stand with her, and with this strength and the timely action of the police and authorities, we are sure the gang will be arrested soon," (sic).
Manju Warrier took to Facebook to write about the emotional moments. Manju said she was with the actress after the incident and praised the courage she showed to survive the harrowing hours.
"Equality is not something that has to be limited in words. For women, honour is not something that has to be bargained, but her right. Mutual respect should be made a part of culture," she wrote. Reiterating that she will be in the forefront fighting for the rights of women, Manju stressed that it is the attitude that needs to be changed.
Director-actor Jude Anthony Joseph and Tovino Thomas also expressed their shock and resentment over the issue. While Jude pointed out that it is high time that men should be taught manners and women karate, Tovino Thomas felt that the feeling of insecurity has only increased for women. Vineeth Sreenivasan also said the need of the hour was a generation that respects women.