Dileep’s arrest in a case of sexual assault on an actress seems to have vertically divided the Kerala society. Director Adoor Gopalakrishnan and writer Paul Zacharia were among the few celebrities to give the disgraced actor the benefit of doubt but they were soon disowned by the rest of the literati. Though Dileep had come under the scanner since the shocking highway attack on the actress in February, his arrest on Monday unleashed unprecedented public outrage.
He was ousted from all trade bodies in the cinema industry and his commercial establishments were targeted across Kerala. Adoor Gopalakrishnan, who had cast Dileep in his latest movie, Pinneyum, said that he knew Dileep was not a criminal.
Zacharia shared his angst at the “bloodthirsty behavior” surrounding Dileep’s arrest. Not everyone was amused though. N.S. Madhavan differed with the comments and recalled the rift between Gopalakrishnan and Zacharia since the director filmed a story by the writer.
“Dileep united what god had parted,” he tweeted. “The only thing unnatural in the reactions to the case is the campaign on social media and elsewhere for the past two days that Dileep is not guilty until proven.” He said that the sudden sense of justice only helped the accused.
Writer Benyamin had a funny retort too. “I am so happy to see Adoor and Zacharia coming together on behalf of Dileep after squabbling over Bhaskara Patelar (One of Zacharia’s characters who inspired Gopalakrishnan to make ‘Vidheyan’).” Malayalam writer Susmesh Chandroth said that the male dominance of society hardened when Gopalakrishnan and Zacharia glossed over an atrocity.
Writer S. Saradakutty too pointed out that the supporters of the accused were getting emotional. She also said that the visual media’s unrestrained pursuit of the accused may have unintended consequences.