Suraj Venjaaramoodu made all Malayalis proud this year with his unexpected win in the best actor category at the National Awards for his performance in Dr. Biju’s Perariyathavar. He shared the honor with another actor Rajkumar Rao.
Now, excited Malayali fans everywhere were waiting eagerly for the awards ceremony to see their beloved comedic actor be granted the honour by the President and bask in the spotlight. However, the Times Now channel which also telecasted the ceremony conveniently ignored Suraj altogether in their broadcast. Not only did they not show Suraj receiving the award, they also didn’t show any clip of him post the actual function. This does not look like an oversight or a lack of time issue, as they showed the co recipient of the honor, Rajkumar, receiving the award in repeated shots and also gave him air time for a byte after the ceremony.
This has quite justifiably angered the Malayali audiences in general, and some fans in particular. One of them took the time to write an open letter to Times Now host Arnab Goswamy, giving voice to his righteous indignation.
Here’s the letter:
Dear Arnab Goswamy,
This is an open letter to you from one of your ardent fan. Let me take you to a flash back first.it was in 2004, National film awards were about to announce. Stiff competition was on for best actor award between chocolate boy Saif Ali Khan and veteran actor Mammootty. Saif in ‘Hum Tum’ versus Mammootty in ‘Kazhcha’. . You don’t have to see both the movies, but the trailer is enough to decide whom should be given the award. When announced it was Saif Ali Khan, no wonder ‘Sharmila Tagore’ was the jury…It reminded me of Shahshi kapoor dialogue…’Mere paas mama hai’… Even Bollywood was shell shocked to hear, best actor award for saif??
Why I reminded you all these because of an event that I watched in your esteemed channel, times Now. The hon. President was giving away awards to winners of 61st National Film Awards. As a proud malayali I was waiting to see one of the awardee Mr Suraj receiving it from the President. Sadly your channel decided to edit that part out. Whereas the co-awardee for best actor, rajkumar Rao was shown repeatedly, and even his response was telecasted.
Suraj was not visible even in one frame. Is that you and other north indian media jealous of south indian film industry, which kept bagging the awards through Sivaji Ganesan to Kamal Hassan to Mammootty to Mohanlal? Or is that because Mr. Suraj looks dark and don’t have a six-pack tummy? I understand the fear of bollywood, which is sustaining its business by mostly remaking south indian films these days.
What your channel has done today to please bollywood, and north indian lobby is clear case of regionalism, and even racism. Malayalees are not going to forgive you for this, we demand an apology from you.
Dear Mr. Goswamy, I have been an ardent fan of you. I adored your arrogance and debates with proofs forcing all others bend their heads in front of you. But today, If I asked you why you edited out a south indian actor, while showing co-awardee in detail, you and your channel have to put down your head in shame!!
Now, in light of that detailed letter and the accusations of discrimination contained within – what do you have to say for yourself Times Now?