The Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) has asked actresses "not to travel alone" in order to ensure the safety of Malayalam actresses.
The attack against the South Indian actress in a moving car by a gang led by Sunil Kumar aka Pulsar Suni on February 17, while she was on her way back home after work, has become a hot topic of discussion for newspapers, channels, online news portals as well as social media.
Following this, many celebrities from Mollywood, Kollywood and Bollywood have reacted to the incident, and the members of AMMA have even conducted a protest in Kochi.
However, AMMA's latest decision on asking actresses "not to travel alone," taken during the recently concluded executive meeting, has not gone down well with few celebrities. Filmmaker Aashiq Abu has shared a sarcastic post on his Facebook page that reads: "All praise for AMMA, the organisation of Malayalam cine artists for its revolutionary and historical decision asking 'actresses not to travel alone," [roughly translated from Malayalam].
However, few netizens have pointed out that similar regulations are mandatory in most of the IT companies in India, where women staff are always recommended to travel with security personnel to home from office. "Women employees in night are always escorted by securities. As a temporary solution its good. It can avoid untoward incidents. But other than that there should be long-term solutions [sic]," writes a social media user named, Nikhil Komath.
Meanwhile, Malayalam actress and theatre artiste Sajitha Madathil has also reacted to the decision made by AMMA executive members on the safety of Malayalam female actors'.
"I was expecting AMMA to take a right decision. Is AMMA saying that it won't take the responsibility of an actress, who travels as part of the post-production works of a movie? I am a person who was eagerly waiting to become a member of this association. For the past 25 years, I have been travelling alone all over India and outside, and never felt the need of someone accompanying me for my safety. I hope there are many other actresses who have similar attitude.
Is AMMA saying that the actresses have to take complete responsibility if something happens to them when they are working day and night alone? Is this how other organisations treat the women employees? Aren't the employers supposed to provide safety for the employees? I feel sorry to hear such anti-women decisions taken by an association in Kerala. This is more hurting than an attack against our own body [roughly translated from Malayalam]," the Rani Padmini actress posted on her social media page.
According to latest reports, the executive members of AMMA also have plans to implement a new rule for crew members to work only after completing police verification. This is an attempt to track the criminal background, if any, of any crew member. The core committee of producers, distributors and exhibitors association have also reportedly decided not to associate with those with a criminal background.