Actor Hareesh Peradi ‘banned’ from Pukasa stage for criticising Left government


Hareesh Peradi. Photo: Mathrubhumi Archives

Kozhikode: The Purogamana Kalasathithya Sangham, which goes by the acronym Pukasa, withdrew the invitation for actor Hareesh Peradi to an event in the town commemorating a theatre artiste. The withdrawal comes in the backdrop of the critical comments of the actor against the state government, explains the organisation.

Hareesh has been in the headlines for the past couple of days for his statements against chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and LDF. The actor had expressed his dissent against the alleged ban on black masks and dresses at the events attended by the chief minister. The opposition parties are on the streets demanding the resignation of the CM over the accusations levelled against him by a gold smuggling case accused. Police reportedly had asked the attendees of the events inaugurated by CM to remove black masks and avoid black dress as the opposition parties were engaged in waving black flags at the CM.

Hareesh had shared a photo of him in black attire with the caption ‘protest against a frightened fascist’. The audience widely criticised it due to explicit and vulgar expressions in the caption.

Controversy

Hareesh was invited to the inauguration of the ‘Shanthan Memorial Drama Festival’ in Kozhikode on Thursday by Pukasa. However, at the last moment, the organisers asked him to stay away from the event "in light of the current political scenario."

Speaking to Mathrubhumi News, Harish said he had a good relationship with Pukasa. “They were the first to call me and I had a busy schedule. Shanthan was a good friend of mine and we worked together for a long period. It was my duty and responsibility to attend this event," he said.

“I was coming from Coimbatore when I received a call from Pukasa asking to cancel my trip. For the smooth conduct of the event and as a close friend of Shanthan, I withdrew from the event. Pukasa knew the relationship between Shanthan and me. I should tell the truth behind the withdrawal because I have commitments to my friends.”

“An artist must have politics and opinions. The protest against the CM and the attack on senior Congress leader AK Antony in the KPCC office was genuinely objectionable. I meant there shouldn’t be further conflicts. We will convey what we have to say”, Peradi concluded.

Later, Pukasa, on the occasion of the Shanthan memorial drama festival at Kozhikode, explained the 'ban' on the actor. Kozhikode district secretary of the organisation, U Hemanth Kumar, stated that the explicit and unacceptable comments on the CM and left front paved the way for the removal of the actor from the programme. “The language used by Peradi was obscene and supported the Right front conspiracy. The Facebook post was the main reason for the replacement since it was not democratic or social. We know that he has been in controversies before and is an expressive personality,” he said.

“Pukasa is a cultural organisation that welcomes criticism and opinions. The organisation works independently, and everyone with us has diverse views, like Hareesh Peradi. We respect Hareesh Peradi as an artist and apologise for the last-minute removal”, he added.

Actor Sudheesh inaugurated the event. Actor Mamukkoya was also present.

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