Mohanlal who recently took over as president of Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) said the organisation was willing to hold discussions with the Women in Cinema Collective, a request it made in the wake of reinstating Dileep.
He told mediapersons in Kochi on Monday that he stood with the victim and the question of Dileep coming back to AMMA was not there as the actor himself had opted out.
Dileep's arrest was a shocker, he said, adding that following this there were divergent views on the action to be taken and AMMA was literally on the verge of a split.
It was last week that WCC had sought a meeting to discuss AMMA reinstating Dileep. “A meeting with Women in Cinema Collective will be decided soon after discussing with other executive members," said Mohanlal, adding that he was abroad when the request was made. Already four female actors have resigned from AMMA and that matter too would be taken up, he said.
Mohanlal said that AMMA needed revamp and its 25-year-old byelaw had to be changed. Women would have to be given more prominence and it was wrong to say the association was male-dominated as nearly half the 480-odd members were women.
He refuted charges that AMMA was against women occupying top offices in the organisation. Parvathy was welcome even now to become an office-bearer. It was time more women held prominent posts, he added.
He also made it clear that at no point had the victim given a formal complaint that she was being denied opportunities owing to Dileep. If there was such a complaint, the matter would have been looked into, he added. On the contrary, AMMA had always been trying to help her and he personally had invited her to a show in Muscat which she refused.
About Monday’s executive meeting after which he spoke to the media, Mohanlal said it was only an informal one.
He asserted that Dileep’s ouster was done in haste after he was removed by other film organisations immediately after his arrest on July 10, 2017, for his alleged role in the conspiracy hatched in the abduction of the actor on February 17, 2017. The decision to remove him was taken at a meeting convened immediately and had not been done as per rules. Neither was a notice sent to Dileep nor a general body convened. He added Dileep would be welcome to AMMA once he was acquitted.
When the issue of taking back Dileep was presented during the recent general body, no one opposed it, including the women who now have raised the issue, Mohanlal said.
On whether the general body decision of reinstating Dileep stood, he said there was no point in discussing this as Dileep had already made it clear that he did not want to return. “In these circumstances, what is the point in discussing this,” he said, but added that as of now Dileep was out of AMMA. If he were to be acquitted in the case, AMAA would welcome him back to its fold.
Asked about AMMA earlier expelling the late veteran Thilakan, Mohanlal said the actor had openly challenged the organisation and even after that he (Mohanlal) had acted with him in a few movies during his last days.