The internet has many muses — transilient as they are, it never fails to leave us fascinated. Sometimes we are as fascinated by the content and more frequently, as to how certain things become viral. Adding to the first list is actor Simbu’s latest press meet about the Cauvery Water Board Management and Sterlite protests that have been happening in Tamil Nadu. The Nadigar Sangam recently organised a ‘silent protest’ for the same where several top stars of the industry had participated including Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth. Simbu began his press meet by saying that it didn’t make sense that cinema celebrities were protesting for issues like these when Kollywood itself is in a state of crisis. If you haven’t noticed, there has been a shutdown in the industry and it has been more than a month since new Tamil films saw the daylight. Furthermore, in a whistle-worthy moment, Simbu takes a direct hit at the ‘silence’ maintained by the Nadigar Sangam. “Pesama irunthathu nala thana prachanaye. Pesama iruntha epdi prachana theerum? (We have a problem because we have been silent. How can a solution be reached without talking about it?),” questioned Simbu.
It is good that Simbu brought up the strike as for film-starved fans, his press meet could be the closest to seeing a commercial film in the near future. Taking emotional liberties with facts, high on rhetoric, celebrating the Tamilian identity, asking for a social media revolution with a liberal dose of satirical humour — the speech had all the elements of a pot-boiler. Here are 5 reasons why you should go ahead and grab that tub of popcorn.
The Cauvery and Sterlite protests have sparked several calls to ban IPL matches happening at Chennai. Observing that it is indeed awkward to celebrate cricket matches amid the current issues, Simbu takes a dry dig at sensationalism in news. “It will be an issue if the audience wears a black badge after T.Rajendar said so, right? Rajinikanth has also said so but taking his name could also create controversy. Kamal Haasan hasn’t said this. Let’s do one thing, Abdul Kalam has asked us to wear black badges at the matches. He came to me as a spirit and told me this when I was meditating,” said Simbu sparking sniggers amid the reporters.
Ever since the Jallikattu protests, Tamil cinema and mainstream pop culture have invoked the pride of being a Tamilian several times. Simbu does it in speech as well. “It doesn’t matter who is saying it. It is for the welfare of Tamils,” bellowed Simbu. He goes even further and says that it is the nature of Tamils to be forgiving. “If a crab bites me, I will put it back in the water. Biting is the crab’s job, protecting the crab is a Tamilian’s job,” asserted Simbu. Play “Aalaporan Tamizhan” in the background already!
Taking a leaf from our cinematic sensibilities, ‘Amma sentiment’ can be called the spine of Tamil commercial cinema. The examples of tearful moments about the mother’s unconditional love in our films are plenty. “We consider Cauvery river as a mother. I am asking will any mother from Karnataka deny her son water? Push all politics aside. If the mothers and the people of Karnataka who I consider my brethren tell us that they won’t give us water, then we won’t ask for it again,” exhorted a tearful Simbu.
Social media revolution:
You might wonder how the people of Karnataka will tell us if they are ready to share water. Simbu’s answer is social media. “I ask all the people of Karnataka to give a glass of water to a Tamilian, take a video of the same and post it on April 11 from 3 pm to 6 pm. If they don’t so, it is a gesture that they don’t want to share water,” said Simbu. He further asked them to use the hashtag ‘Unity for Humanity’ and said that even if they shed tears for not being able to give water, it is still a victory. “Kanneer um thaneer than. (Tears are also water),” said an emotional Simbu. Remember the mobile flashlight moment from Velaikkaran?