With a video that went viral among Malayalis, Bineesh Bastin's protest is now in the spotlight and everyone is talking about it.
With a video that went viral among Malayalis, Bineesh Bastin’s protest is now in the spotlight and everyone is talking about it. The controversy pertaining to actor Bineesh Bastin and national award winning director Anil Radhakrishnan Menon exposes disturbing fault lines that do not reflect well on the Malayalam film industry. So, what exactly happened? Why did actor Bineesh protest at a college function by sitting on the floor of the stage?
And why has the film director apologised? Based on local reports, here is a quick recap!
A report by Manorama indicates that the controversy took place when director Anil Radhakrishnan Menon reportedly refused to share the stage with actor Bineesh Bastin at a college function and asked college authorities to ensure that Bineesh steps on the stage only after he has left the stage. On social media, angry posts have erupted, hinting that this was an outright caste-based insult towards the actor who protested by sitting on the floor of the stage where he had been invited to speak.
A viral video shows actor Bineesh walking alongside the Principal of the college. Instead of taking the chair on stage, he sits on the floor of the stage and amidst the brief confusion, director Anil who was addressing the college students is seen leaving the stage. Speculations are rife on social media that the film director did not want Bineesh to share the stage with him.
After the director left, Bineesh Bastin made a hard-hitting introduction, “I am neither a Menon nor a national award winning director.” He referred to the fact that he had been invited as a guest speaker but the award winning director did not want him to be on the same stage as he is a ‘third grade actor who had begged for a chance in a film’.
“This is the saddest day of my life and no one should ever have to undergo a situation like this,” Bineesh Bastin said.
Ahead of the college function, the actor shared posters of the college function on his Facebook page.
This morning, Mathrumbhumi has shared the film director’s statement which also includes his apology to the actor. The statement reported by Mathrubhumi has been published in Malayalam. The following is a basic translation of some key points made by the filmmaker are as follows:
“I had told the college authorities when they invited me that if there is anyone else for the function, they should avoid me. But they said that there is no one else to address the function. When I reached, that is when I got to know about Bineesh and I thought that since he is already there, he can address the gathering. In fact, when Bineesh made an appearance on stage, I urged everyone to welcome him and clap for him. I did not oppose Bineesh’s presence on stage. In fact, he was invited to be seated on the chair but he refused to sit on the chair. Do not view me ‘casteist’ simply because my surname reads ‘Menon’. I do not think in such a way. In my next film, I had actually planned a small role for the very same actor. If I have caused him any pain, I express my sincere apologies to Bineesh.”
In his statement, Anil Radhakrishnan Menon categorically states that he did not intend to insult the actor in any way.
An actor from Kochi, Bineesh has played ‘baddie’ in several movies. He has featured in the movies of Malayalam cinema’s superstars – Mammootty and Mohnalal. His notable performances include Nivin Pauly starrer Action Hero Biju (Malayalam) and Vijay-starrer Theri (Tamil).