Manipuri actress Soma Laishram has slammed the call for a ban on her from working in films by a civil society group Kangleipal Kanba Lup. Soma was barred from working on films and attending public events after she participated in a beauty pageant in New Delhi amid the ongoing violence in Manipur, the northeastern state of India. Soma, in a video posted on social media, said she is shocked and disheartened over the development.
“I strongly oppose this (directive); as an artist and a social influencer, I have every right to speak up wherever I want to and whenever it is needed... I have not done anything against my state and my motherland,” said Soma Laishram, who has acted in over 100 Manipuri films.
“When I was called to represent Manipur in the Northeast festival as a show stopper, I only went with the intention of supporting my state, and spreading awareness (about the reason behind the violence) among the thousands of people present there,” the 31-year-old actor said.
The ban on Laishram has drawn widespread condemnation from the public and film associations.
When contacted, a top functionary of the Film Forum Manipur asserted that such interference is unfortunate and uncalled for. More than 175 people have been killed and several hundred injured since ethnic violence broke out in Manipur on May 3, when a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the majority Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe status. (Agencies)