Hema Commission Report: 'Future Kerala won't pardon you,' writer T Padmanabhan tells govt at IFFK

T Padmanabhan
Writer T Padmanabhan during the closing ceremony of the IFFK in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday. Photo: Screengrab

Noted writer T Padmanabhan has told the state government that "future Kerala will not pardon" if it did not publicise the Justice Hema Commission Report, a study on the problems faced by women in the Malayalam film industry.

Addressing the closing ceremony of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), the 91-year-old master storyteller hailed the survivor of the actor assault case in 2017 that led to the setting up of the Commission.

"An undefeated woman," he termed the survivor, who incidentally had been a surprise guest during the inauguration of the IFFK on March 18.

Padmanabhan's short but powerful speech that was roundly applauded called out the need for ensuring safe workplaces for women in Kerala.

"Compared to other states, our Kerala is ahead in many things and it continues to progress. However, at various levels, especially on the safety of women at workplaces, shouldn't we progress further?" he asked.

The author of 'Prakasham Parathunna Oru Penkutty' (Girl Who Spreads Light) said the problems highlighted by women in the Malayalam film industry cannot go unchecked.

"Justice Hema and two famous women formed a Samithi. They held sittings for over two years, spent over two crores and tabled a report. But it has not seen the light," said Padmanabhan.

"We have a government that has survived worse. But if this (commission report) is not done, future Kerala will not pardon you.

"Time is running out, time is running out, do what they have suggested, bring culprits to book."

He summed up his speech with a message to the alleged perpetrators: "You cannot rule as superstars forever."


'Culprits deserve no mercy'
"I am not going into the case (actor assault case), but I studied law and I know that those who did wrong must be punished. No matter how big they are, they deserve no mercy," said Padmanabhan, who as the state government's guest at the closing ceremony.

Cultural Affairs Minister Saji Cherian came up to explain the government's position soon after Padmanabhan's speech.

He reiterated that the LDF government will prepare an act to address the issues faced by women professionals.

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