'Dear Mammootty, your silence is scary'

Last Updated: Mon, Dec 18, 2017 20:23 hrs
Mammootty and his hit accents

Actor Parvathy, who opened up about misogynist lines in Kasaba, has been the subject of vicious attacks by Mammootty fans.

The Superstar has so far not spoken out against the abuse hurled by fans.

Here, Gopinath Parayil, founder of The Blue Yonder and palliative care activist, recalls his encounters with the kinder, gentler side of Mammootty and hopes the actor reaches out to fans to shut down this ugly episode.

Edited excerpts from a Facebook post by Parayil:
Enough has been said about actor Parvathy’s observations on misogyny in Malayalam movies. If at all anyone had discounted her observation with the theory that real life doesn’t reflect reel life, Mammooty’s fans have proved her so right.

I am not shocked by the filthy, abusive rant and the rape culture of the so called “aggrieved” fans against Parvathy.

I am not shocked that the police or home ministry that comes under the Chief Minister is quiet as well and haven’t yet taken a suo moto case against the cyber attacks on Parvathy who made her observation in a diligent, respectful way in an open forum.

I am not shocked that the CPM or the LDF hasn’t come forward with a statement in support of her.

I am not surprised that the Party hasn’t compelled the superstar, who’s a known Left sympathiser, to reach out to Parvathy either in public or in private.

I am not surprised that enough people in the film industry as well as politics or media hasn’t come forward in support of Parvathy and to ask the superstar to rein in his fans.

I am shocked by the silence of Mammootty. I doubt his silence is because he hasn’t noticed the open threats of murder and rape against Parvathy by his fans (from authentic as well as thousands of fake accounts ). If at all, he’s not browsing through these rants and personal attacks of his fans, I doubt these aren’t brought to his attention by his close circle of industry peers, family and friends, including his own son and actor Dulquer Salman.

This is not the man some of us who were part of Kerala’s palliative care movement know. This man was compassionate. This man was respectful, considerate and cared for people and didn’t do anything for fame.

For decades, many didn’t even know that he was a patron of Pain and Palliative Care Society in Kozhikode. There were times when he would go out of his way to inaugurate textile shops so that his fees for appearance is transferred by the business to palliative care initiative.

That man we thought we knew shouldn’t be quiet. That man we knew should come forward, reach out to his fans and tell them this isn’t what’s expected from them. The Mammootty that we know should come out openly and say he doesn’t represent the rape culture neither does he endorse his fans' activities.

It’s not even a year since another colleague of his was brutally attacked. Such attacks are not really something that’s part of a “story” in reel life. I fear after reading through the trolls by his fans that there’s a real threat to Parvathy’s life. It doesn’t need a mob, just one of the disturbed fans is enough to launch an attack on her.

Dear Mammootty, I am shocked you aren’t feeling any responsibility for your fans’ behaviour. I am very surprised that you are maintaining a silence. This silence is not dignified. This silence is scary for people like us. I hope this silence isn’t because your ego is bruised by an open stand taken by Parvathy. I hope this isn’t your way of teaching a lesson to someone for being respectfully straight forward. I hope we can once again see the fine human being whom we knew who would understand the context of Parvathy’s observation. If not, I am sure going through these two links will bring back that man.

The scene from Kasaba -

The open forum event talk that Parvathy gave-

I really wish that the Superstar would come to his senses, step above the ordinary and prove that he’s worthy of all the respect and adulation we all have. That he will rein in his fans at the least.

Parvathi might not be expecting Mammootty to pick up the phone and give her moral support.

But people like us do. Just one phone call to her would give enough confidence to all of us who believe in a diverse, plural society and not the recent trends of chauvinism in our society.

Step up, please, to a world of respect and dignity and not leave a legacy for pettiness. We hope you will be the voice of sanity and your actions will be about respect to women including your own colleagues. We really hope your legacy will be of compassion, understanding, responsibility and dignity.

#StepUpStars  #StandUpStars

More from Sify: