Filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan quits Kerala film school, reiterates students spread false charges

The iconic filmmaker stepped down after the resignation of KRNNIVSA director Shankar Mohan and a 50-day students' strike.

ByArjun Ramachandran

Published Jan 31, 2023 | 3:37 PMUpdatedJan 31, 2023 | 8:09 PM

Adoor Gopalakrishnan announced his resignation at a news conference in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday, 31 January (KB Jayachandran)

Veteran filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan resigned as the chairman of the Kottayam-based KR  Narayanan National Institute of Visual Science and Arts (KRNNIVSA) on Tuesday, 31 January.

The 81-year-old filmmaker tendered his resignation in protest against the developments that forced the institute’s director Shankar Mohan to step down.

Adoor announced his resignation at a news conference in Thiruvananthapuram.

Mohan’s resignation came after a 50-day strike by students, who accused the director of caste-based discrimination.

The students’ strike was called off on 23 January after the resignation of Mohan.

The sanitary staff of the institute had accused Mohan of meting out inhuman treatment at his residence.

Both Mohan and Adoor had refuted the charges, with the latter saying that the students were spreading blatant lies.

Deliberate bid to malign Mohan

Adoor told reporters on Tuesday that the allegations were false and deliberate attempts were made to malign Mohan. He added that the sweepers were supposed to clean Mohan’s house only once a week and not daily as alleged.

He also said that none of the sanitation workers were from scheduled castes and there was no
caste discrimination. Adoor has always been supporting the director.

The octogenarian filmmaker lashed out at the students and some staff who were part of the agitation. He reiterated that the protest was a planned action by a group of students and staff.

In his statement, Adoor said, he, along with Mohan wanted to make the film institute a renowned one.

“Shankar Mohan is an eminent person who knows cinema and nobody in India will be having
such knowledge as him,” Adoor said.

He alleged that the students travelled to Thiruvananthapuram without informing the institute
officials and they intended to organise a dharna at the International Film Festival of Kerala

They also invited the media to draw attention to the protest against the institute.

Related: Students decry Adoor’s “feudal” mindset

Govt wanted Adoor to continue

Adoor said that he spoke to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday, 30 January, about his decision to
resign. The government wanted him to continue, he said.

He opined that two investigation committees set up by the government didn’t function properly.

The first committee by the Higher Education department didn’t hear Mohan and me, Adoor said.

The second committee by the chief minister was very judgmental as they behaved as if the
director of the institute was the problem and didn’t listen to all stakeholders.

Adoor called for a fair police investigation into the developments. He said that eight faculty members have resigned and more resignations are expected. “This won’t help the institute” he added.

The filmmaker also said that an employee had caused the delay in providing e-grants to scheduled caste students.