Google Doodle celebrates 120th birth anniversary of PK Rosy, first female lead in Malayalam films
Google on Friday paid tribute to PK Rosy, the Malayalam industry’s first lead female actor, by creating a doodle. The Google Doodle featured a ground-breaking Indian actor looking into the distance against a background of red roses.
PK Rosy’s real name was Rajamma and was born in Kerala in 1903 in a Dalit community. At that time acting as a profession was largely looked down upon. However, the actor broke barriers with her performance when she bagged a role in the 1928 film Vigathakumaran.
Struggles PK Rosy faced as an actor
Born into a Dalit family, Rosy had to face a lot of wrath. Nair community members were outraged to see a Dalit lady playing a Nair in Vigathukumaran when it was released. At the time, many prominent individuals in the film industry, including the well-known attorney Madhoor Govindan Pillai, declined to attend and officially inaugurate the opening of Vigathakumaran if Rosy was going to be physically present there.
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The audience hurled stones at the screen after a scene in which the main character kissed a flower in her hair. The director, Daniel, himself didn’t invite her to the opening at Capitol theatre in Thiruvananthapuram, fearing a backlash. She was barred from attending the film’s premiere but came anyway. Her home is said to have been set on fire by upper castes as retaliation for her crime of posing as a Nair.
Later, she escaped on a truck heading towards Tamil Nadu, married the truck’s driver, Kesavan Pillai, and led a simple life there under the alias Rajammal. Her children were unaware of her brief fame, other than the fact that she was a theater artist living in Pillai’s caste, the Nairs.
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