Not just Dileep: A long list of south Indian film industry men accused of crimes against women
Malayalam actor Dileep is currently in judicial custody and faces very serious allegations against him. The actor, who was arrested in July this year, has been accused of being the mastermind behind the abduction and sexual assault of a prominent woman actor in February.
However, though the Malayalam film industry first reacted with shock and removed him from cinema-related organisations, there has now been a turn-around with many celebrities making a beeline to visit him in jail. The prosecution has alleged that Dileep has employed a PR firm to change the tide of public opinion in his favour and scuttle the case.
And it's not just stakeholders in the film industry and social media users with fake profiles, it's also journalists who have been writing in support of the accused, even comparing him to Jesus! While it is true that Dileep must be considered innocent till proved guilty, why the rush to dismiss the case against him?
This may seem incredulous but it's really not so. Time and again, crimes that the powerful have perpetrated against women, have been "forgiven" by their peers and the public. Ironically, the film industry which keeps selling us the fairy-tale of a strong man "saving" a woman, has its share of men who have been accused of serious crimes against women. These allegations range from domestic violence to sexual harassment and rape.
Bollywood has several such big names, including Salman Khan, Shiney Ahuja, Madhur Bhandarkar, Mahmood Farooqi, Irrfan Khan, and Om Puri.
Here's a list from south India.
Dileep (Malayalam): Accused of being the mastermind behind the abduction and sexual assault of a woman actor.
Status: Was arrested and has been remanded to judicial custody.
Jagathy Sreekumar (Malayalam): Accused of raping a 16-year-old girl in the Vithura sex scandal in which a minor was sexually abused by several men.
Ganesh Kumar (Malayalam): Accused of domestic violence by wife Yamini.
Status: The couple moved for a joint divorce plea and was granted divorce eventually.
Mansoor Ali Khan (Tamil): Accused of drugging and raping his secretary.
Status: Convicted by trial court, acquitted by Madras HC. The woman was also slapped with a Rs 50 lakh fine for making 'false' allegations.
Selva Kannan (Tamil): Accused of sexually harassing actor Athithi. Athithi attempted suicide allegedly because of the harassment.
Status: Athithi reportedly registered a complaint against the director with the police.
Thadi Balaji (Tamil): Accused of harassment and casteist verbal abuse by wife Nithya.
Status: Nithya filed a complaint against the actor with the police.
Darshan (Kannada): Accused of domestic violence which included attempt to murder. His wife Vijayalakshmi was admitted to hospital with severe head injuries.
Status: The divorce case is pending in court.
Chalapathi Rao (Telugu): Accused of making derogatory remarks about women, said they're only fit to sleep with men.
Status: The actor apologised for his comments but a case was registered against him.
Chalapathi and Srujan (Telugu): Accused of abducting and attempting to rape a woman actor.
Status: The woman actor has filed a complaint against both men. She has also accused the police of trying to protect Srujan.