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The suspension of screening of Tamil movies in Karnataka is set to continue, at least for now, due to the ongoing dispute between the two states over Cauvery issue. “No Tamil films will release in Karnataka for some time,” said Sumanth Radhakrishnan, director of ‘Sadhuram 2’, which is releasing on Friday.
“Besides Tamil Nadu, we were also planning to release the film in Karnataka and overseas. But since we are postponing the release in Karnataka, we have also decided to withhold its release overseas,” he added.
Along with ‘Sadhuram 2’, Trisha’s horror-comedy ‘Nayagi’ will also not release this week in Karnataka. Last week, M Sasikumar’s ‘Kidaari’ was removed from the theatres and release of Vikram’s ‘Iru Mugan’ was also delayed.
The Cauvery water dispute has caused tension between the two states when the ties between Tamil and Kannada industries were at an all-time high. Leading stars from both states often share platform and warmth in public. Tamil directors helmed Kannada films, and Kannada actors played important roles in Tamil movies. But, whenever there is a protest over the water-sharing issue, entertainment industry is the first casualty. In support of the Karnataka agitation, the cable TV operators in the state had even suspended the broadcast of Tamil entertainment channels.
Bengaluru is too big a market for filmmakers across India to ignore, especially Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. Tamil movies suffer a dent in their collection, if they are not released in the IT City. In addition to financial losses, the entertainment industries in both states come under immense political pressure and are forced to take a stand.
In 2008, superstar Rajinikanth came under fire by Kannada activists for using the phrase ‘kick them’ while speaking at a protest rally during the Hogenakkal project row. Kannada activists demanded an apology from the star for his “indecent language” before allowing his movie ‘Kuselan’ to release in the state.
Rajinikanth gave into their demands and issued an apology clarifying that ‘kick them’ phrase was directed at the anti-social elements who were escalating tension between the two states. His apology had upset his colleagues in Tamil Nadu as they termed his statement as “selfish and disgrace.”
Like everyone else, celebrities do learn from their mistakes. Rajinikanth has remained tight-lipped on the issue this time, while others have been appealing for calm, instead of taking a political stand. Celebrities from both industries have asked protesters to keep their faith in elected leaders as they hoped the governments will come up with a solution for the problem.
“#RequestPeace .What’s being damaged is the peace of ‘our’ state.Yes Justice needs to be done N I’m sure there WIL B ways to get there.Peace pls,” Kannada star Sudeep had tweeted.
“Pls Spread Peace.. Im sure the concerned will surely do the best to get justice,,tat our state deserves…,” he added.
“I also hope that at no cost should this issue jeopardise the relationship between the people of these two states, who have coexisted as neighbours. I hope we are able to overcome this crisis soon,” Tamil actor Simbu had said in a statement.
“Let’s seek justice … But not with such inhuman violence. It’s painful to see children terrified. PEACE pleassss,” tweeted actor Prakash Raj.