Thiruvananthapuram: National award-winning filmmaker Anil Radhakrishna Menon has stirred up a controversy after he allegedly insulted a Malayalam actor by refusing to share stage during a recent event at a government medical college in the state.
Bineesh Bastin, who has appeared in around 80 movies in Malayalam and Tamil, alleged on Friday that the director had asked the organisers to permit the actor on the stage only after Menon leaves.
Both the director and the actor had been invited to the college day programme at the Government Medical College, Palakakad recently.
The row erupted after the video of the event, in which Bastin could be seen sitting on the floor of the stage in protest against the "24 North Kaatham" director, went viral on the social media.
In the video, Bastin could be seen being blocked by the college principal when he made a surprise entry into the programme venue.
Menon stopped the speech and left the stage soon after the actor began his 'sit-in-protest'.
Later, in an emotionally charged speech, Bastin told the students he did not belong to an upper caste like Menon and was just an unskilled labourer who used to fix tiles to make both ends meet before embarking on his acting career.
"Today, I had to face one of the worst insults of my life," he said.
He alleged the organisers had asked him to come to the programme venue only later as Menon did not want him to share the stage with him.
The director had also told the organisers that he was just a "third grade" actor who had begged for chances in his movies, Bastin alleged.
Students later gave him a thunderous applause for his speech.
With the video going viral on the social media, several people have come out in support of the actor and criticised the alleged gesture of the director.
Rejecting the charges, Menon, however, said on Friday he had only told the organisers to exclude him if any other guests were there for the programme.
He also requested everyone not to brand him as an upper caste person as his caste name "Menon" was there in his name.
"I like Bineesh Bastin. I have even planned to give a character for him in my next film. I am sorry from the bottom of my heart if the incident has hurt him," he told television channels.
'Menon' is an upper caste Hindu community in the state.
Meanwhile, FEFKA (Association of Film Employees Federation of Kerala) Directors Union has sought an explanation from Menon on the issue.