Petition against Mohanlal: Prakash Raj, Rajeev Ravi and Santosh Thundiyil react
The petition was started by Dr.Biju to protest the government's move to invite Mohanlal as chief guest for Kerala State Awards
After news of a mass petition protesting the government's move to invite Mohanlal as the chief guest for the Kerala State Awards distribution did the rounds online, a few prominent members from the industry have come forward clarifying their stand on the issue. The petition, which was started by director Dr Biju, was backed by around 105 members, including actors and technicians.
Among the petition's signatories were Prakash Raj, Rajeev Ravi, Santosh Thundiyil, NS Madhavan, Rima Kallingal, Geetu Mohandas, Prakash Bare and Sruthi Hariharan. However, Prakash Raj denied signing the petition and has clarified his stand through a video message on social media. The actor says that despite his differences with AMMA's decision to reinstate Dileep recently, he has got nothing against Mohanlal.
Noted cinematographer Santosh Thundiyil, who shot Mohanlal's Neerali, believes there's an attempt to mislead people. Speaking to CE, he says, "I've been hearing and seeing things I haven't said before. Some of the media houses have falsely reported that I'm against Mohanlal. When I was contacted to discuss the format of the awards ceremony, there was no mention of Mohanlal's name. The petition is only against someone from the film fraternity being invited as the chief guest. We also discussed the fact that an important award ceremony is being turned into an ordinary awards show like those conducted by TV channels."
Director-cinematographer Rajeev Ravi, who also received the WhatsApp message, says, "I see this petition as a wake-up call for the Chalachitra Academy and the government. We are approaching the whole thing from a cultural standpoint. I don't see why Mohanlal has to be dragged into all this. Why is a talent from the film industry being called as the chief guest? This being a State function, wouldn't it be more apt to call the Chief Minister or the Governor or the cultural minister? Right now, this debate is being taken in a completely different and unhealthy direction. It's the wrong way of looking at things."
Mohanlal has already responded to this controversy, saying that he hasn't received an invitation to attend the ceremony yet. Kerala's Cultural Affairs Minister AK Balan has also confirmed that an invitation hasn't been sent to the actor.