Malayalam actress Mamta Mohandas, who is just back in Kerala from an extended holiday in Los Angeles, has made a controversial statement on sexual abuse in India.
In a recent interview to The Times Of India, Mamta said an association like Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) was not necessary.
WCC is an association involving Malayalam film industry’s women artists and technicians, who fearlessly oppose sexism, patriarchy and fight for the rights of each other. However, Mamta is not in the association and feels there’s no need for an organisation (WCC) as such in Mollywood.
She said, “It (WCC) was formed when I wasn’t here (in the industry). If you ask me would I have been a part of it if I was here, maybe not. It’s not because I am against or for it. I just don’t have an opinion."
Mamta also added, “I don’t think it requires a body like the WCC to voice what we stand for. I don’t understand the need for a body comprising just women. I function a little differently. I think a little differently. I think any mess that someone is in is created by themselves. However, I wasn’t here when these incidents were happening.”
When asked about her not knowing the happenings in the film industry since she stayed in the US, Mamta replied, “I don’t know if I should be saying this, but if a woman gets into trouble, I feel somewhere she is responsible for it. Because if I have gotten into any trouble where I have felt that someone has spoken to me with disrespect or in this situation, a sexual assault or sexual abuse or anything indicative towards that manner, I feel I would have entertained some part of it. This is what I feel and that doesn’t mean that I am pointing fingers because I don’t think it should happen to anybody.”
Reacting to Mamta’s comments, 22 Female movie actress Rima Kallingal, who is one of the founding members of WCC and also a leading voice in Mollywood, wrote an angry post on Facebook.
In the post, she states that no victim is responsible for what happened to that individual.
“Dear Mamtha Mohandas and my sisters and brothers and LGBTQ community out there who have been through harassment and assaults and molestations and rapes in life, you are not responsible when you get troubled, cat-called, assaulted, molested, abused, harassed, violated, attacked, kidnapped or raped.The molester, assaulter, aggressor, violater, kidnapper or the rapist is responsible. A society that normalises these wrongs is responsible. A world that protects the wrong-doer is responsible. Aly Raisman (She called out her doctor who sexually molested 141 women athletes including her, putting an end to years of torture.) says, ‘The ripple of our actions, or inactions, can be enormous, spanning generations.’Please don’t feel guilty for another person’s act. Continue to speak out and stand up for each other. Let’s break that wall of silence and ignorance. Love and strength to all (sic),” she wrote.
Mamta’s comments are likely to attract more furious reactions from the Malayalam film industry.
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Last Updated 21, Jul 2018, 11:17 AM