The sexual assault on the Malayalam film actor in Kochi has, apart from highlighting the vulnerability of women, opened a can of worms in Mollywood. Not surprising, as the Malayalam filmdom has had its share of dalliance with drug peddling, cheque bouncing, physical assault and building of real-estate empires via benamis. Most of these activities invariably require the aid of criminals. In 2015, Shine Tom Chacko, who was shooting into prominence those days, assistant director Blessy and three models were arrested for allegedly possessing narcotics. The death of popular actor Kalabhavan Mani last year made headlines after his brother alleged the actor was murdered by rivals.
Two years on, the first case is as good as shelved, just as the second case was closed in just over a year. Some five years back, a gold smuggling incident at Cochin International Airport involving T K Faiz, a man with deep Mollywood connections, hogged the limelight following the alleged involvement of actress Mythili. The benevolent film industry that is Mollywood seemingly had no issues with all this. Sure, they did all the right things and made all the noises to show their solidarity to the hapless actor. But the film clan also believes in protecting their own.
The key accused in the recent sexual assault case has been on the payroll of leading production houses, despite the fact that he has a known criminal past. When some of the actors and producers claim they never knew about ‘Pulsar’ Suni’s dark past, one cannot be blamed for sounding skeptical. The issue directly touches a raw nerve for Mollywood, as its members keep ignoring the ingress of criminals in non-core, but allied activities. The present case raises questions. Answers will have to be forthcoming as to whether there was something more than lust; if there was an element of conspiracy or if it was a settling of scores. Conspiracy theories abound. It is for the investigators to get to the truth.