THRISSUR: Veteran Malayalam writer and orator Sukumar Azhikode said Thursday he was taking legal action against superstar Mohanlal for his remarks that Azhikode suffers from “hallucinations” and demanded an apology.
The 84-year-old litterateur said the first step of a defamation case has been set in process with a legal notice being served on Mohanlal. The legal notice has claimed a compensation of Rs 10 lakhs.
“My counsel has sent a notice saying that if Mohanlal does not render an apology to me in a week’s time for his statement that I suffer from hallucinations, then legal steps would be taken up vigorously,” said Azhikode.
This move can be seen as a quid pro quo for a legal notice served on the writer in June by AMMA (Association of Malayalam Movie Artists) for allegedly belittling them.
“When I got the notice from AMMA, I took legal advice and was told that their defamation case will not hold good… Mohanlal’s statements made publicly on TV channels have hurt me a lot,” said Azhikode.
The war of words between the duo broke out when Azhikode came in support of thespian actor Thilakan who was served a show cause notice by AMMA early this year. Azhikode’s siding with Thilakan has upset AMMA.
The first salvo was fired by Azhikode in February when he criticised Mohanlal, saying the actor has grown old and should limit himself to roles matching his age and figure.
He also added that Mohanlal should stop making money by endorsing jewellery.
Mohanlal hit back in March, by saying that Azhikode must be suffering from some “hallucination”, and he considered Azhikode’s statements as some “aged uncle’s joke”. He also said that it was not for Azhikode to decide whether he should stop acting.
“The defamation filed by AMMA is to come up in court next month,” Azhikode said.
Azhikode in 1986 retired as Pro-Vice Chancellor of Calicut University. He is well known for his oratorical skills.
A bachelor, his most famous work is “Tathvamasi” (1984, Malayalam), an authoritative book on Indian philosophy, vedas and upanishads. The work has won 12 awards, including the Indian Sahitya Akademi Award, Kerala Sahithya Academy Award, Vayalar Award and the Rajaji Award.
In January 2007, he refused to accept the Padma Shri stating that such honours are against the constitution.