Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday strongly defended Malayalam film director Kamal, who had BJP workers singing the national anthem near his home earlier this week after it turned out that a man had who filed a petition against the anthem’s playing before films was from his village.
Attending a function here, Vijayan said the Sangh Parivar is now trying to communalise the national anthem row.
“The Sangh Parivar need not take the task of giving a certificate to Kamal. They are behind the protest against him. This is not going to be tolerated in Kerala and the government will act,” he said.
Kamal, or Kamaludeen, is the chairman of the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy that organised the International Film Festival of Kerala which concluded in the capital city last week. He came under attack from the BJP after it surfaced that the petitioner, representing a local film society, filed a petition against the playing of the anthem, hailed from his village only.
The Supreme Court had ruled that the national anthem has to be played before the screening at all theatres in the country.
Since then there has been barbed attacks against Kamal and this led to the protest by the Thrissur unit of the BJP which sang the national anthem in front of his home there.
Kamal and State Culture and Cinema Minister A.K. Balan had all along maintained that they would abide by the apex court ruling and the national anthem was played at all the theatres.
Eleven people were arrested, but later let off on bail, after they refused to stand up when the national anthem was played at two theatres during the IFFK screening.