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    Online hate campaign against Mammootty draws widespread political, social condemnation

    Online hate campaign against Mammootty draws widespread political, social condemnation


    Actor Mammootty seems to be the latest high-profile victim of online hate campaign. 

    The “communally loaded” online attacks centred around Mr. Mammootty’s official name, Mohammad Kutty, have drawn across-the-aisle political censure and widespread social criticism for their “odious” nature. 

    What started as a private dispute between a filmmaker and her husband has unexpectedly snowballed into a “religiously schismatic” social media storm with Mr. Mammootty, at its centre for his critically acclaimed role in the 2022 film Puzhu.

    The movie dwells on the caste prejudice of an upper-caste police officer who resents his sister’s love marriage to a person from the lower echelons of the Hindu caste system. 

    A relative of the filmmaker spawned the surge of online hatred by recently telling an online news channel that Mr. Mammootty should have, ideally, refused the role that sought to portray a particular community as small-minded bigots. 

    The ruling, front, and Opposition rallied behind the award-winning actor and accused the Sangh Parivar of seeking to inject the poison of communal politics into the Malayalam film industry.

    Revenue Minister K. Rajan said Mr. Mammootty was the latest film industry giant targeted by the Sangh Parivar for his religion.

    He said Hindu majoritarian handles had trolled director Kamal as Kamaluddin and Tamil Superstar Vijay as Joseph Vijay. However, Mr. Rajan noted such divisive speech had no takers in Kerala. 

    General Education Minister V. Sivankutty posted a picture of himself with Mr. Mammootty and hailed the three-time national award winner as “Kerala’s pride”. 

    AICC general secretary K.C. Venugopal said art transcended religion and politics, and Sangh Parivar’s attacks on the actor were condemnable. KPCC president K. Sudhakaran censured Sangh Parivar’s attempt to segregate Mr. Mammootty based on religion.

    Mr. Mammootty also received some qualified support from BJP leader A.N. Radhakrishnan. He blamed the director and the scriptwriter who conceptualised the film for the current controversy. They had exposed Mammootty to online hatemongers. 

    Mr. Radhakrishnan said the film industry should isolate those who use the avenue for petty personal score-settling.

    Mr. Radhakrishnan said Mr. Mammootty had dominated Malayalam cinema for 50 years. He had played characters from different religious and caste backgrounds. Mr. Radhakrishnan said it was abominable to associate Mr. Mammootty with any radical mindset.

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