One of the scriptwriters of Aashiq Abu’s film Variyamkunnan, has withdrawn temporarily from the film following a raging controversy over his old Facebook posts of an extremist and misogynistic nature. The film on the freedom fighter Variyamkunnath Kunhahamed Haji, who was shot dead by the British police during the Malabar Rebellion of 1921, was announced last week, with actor Prithviraj Sukumaran in the titular role.
In a Facebook post on Saturday morning, Mr. Abu said that the scriptwriter Ramees has a responsibility to explain himself to the public as well as the team behind the film. Ramees has made it clear that he is withdrawing from the project temporarily until his innocence is proved.
“I personally don’t agree with Ramees’s political stand. Probably, he will disagree with mine too. Discussions on the Variyamkunnan film has been progressing with another director for some years. I came to know about Rameez hardly three to four months back, as someone who has been part of the research and discussions from an earlier stage. Following the allegations levelled against him, an explanation was sought, and he had publicly apologised on social media over some of these allegations,” said Mr. Abu in his Facebook post.
Mr.Ramees’ Facebook posts from five to six years back became viral soon after the film was announced. While some of these posts revealed extreme Islamist views, some others were misogynistic. He later deleted most of these old posts and posted an apology for the same.
On Saturday, in another Facebook post, he said that he had already apologised for some of the allegations, in which he felt he was wrong — and that the rest of the allegations were either posts taken out of context or misinterpretations.
“I am capable of proving that these allegations are wrong. However, these allegations, which concerns only me personally, has affected the entire film crew. Hence I am withdrawing temporarily from the project until I prove my innocence,” he said.