BJP national general secretary Saroj Pandey on Sunday sparked outrage with her comments that if the killing of her party members continued in Kerala, “the eyes of the attackers will be gouged out”. The violent remark has been flayed as well as ridiculed by Malayalees on social media, but an actor has gone beyond just symbolic protests and filed a police complaint against Pandey.
Alencier Lopez, famous for his roles in films like ‘Maheshinte Prathikaaram’, ‘Njan Steve Lopez’, ‘Kammattipaadam’ and ‘Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum’, filed a complaint against Saroj Pandey at Chavara Police station in Kollam, Kerala.
Appearing blindfolded at the police station as a mark of protest against the BJP leader’s comments, Alencier Lopez got his complaint registered, seeking action.
Saroj Pandey’s comments came in the backdrop of the janaraksha yatra organised by the BJP in Kerala to highlight the killing of RSS workers in Kerala. The CPM, the main constituent of the ruling coalition in Kerala, has lost cadres to violence inflicted by RSS members.
BJP’s janaraksha yatra, which sought to highlight topics like ‘Love Jihad’ and ‘left terror’ that the party claims are issues in Kerala, backfired as Malayalees began trolling party president Amit Shah with the #Amittadi hashtag.
Amittadi.... pic.twitter.com/5CW8p5jCfW— വിനയൻ © (@vinayannn) October 7, 2017
Similarly Pandey’s ‘gouge’ remark resulted in social media retaliation from Malayalaees in the form of the #GougeDa hashtag. The hashtag has been trending on Twitter and has created a storm.
Alencier Lopez, who was a theatre actor for years before moving to the film industry, has gone for a dramatic public protest in an earlier instance too, taking a stand against what are seen as the right-wing’s attempts to polarise Kerala.
When Malayalam filmmaker Kamal took a stand against the arrest of those who did not stand up for the national anthem during the International Film Festival of Kerala, of which he was one of the organisers, he was trolled by the right-wing brigade who asked him to ‘Go to Pakistan’.
Lopez, at the time, expressed his protest by going to the Kasargod bus stand and asking passengers their tickets to Pakistan.