Emotions are running high across Tamil Nadu over the Centre’s delay in constituting the Cauvery Management Board as directed by the Supreme Court in its judgement recently. The latest season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is facing the heat amid ongoing agitations in the state.
The clamour for banning IPL matches that are scheduled to be held in Chennai has been growing strong by the day. The high-profile members of the Tamil film fraternity have expressed their unhappiness with the cricket board holding a game carnival in the state, which is reeling under several serious issues.
On Sunday, Superstar Rajinikanth backed the Opposition’s demand on the IPL.
“It is an embarrassment to think of IPL at the present situation in the state. At least the members of the Chennai Super Kings should wear a black band during matches to express solidarity with the protesting groups,” said Thalaivar.
In case, the BCCI and CSK management were not comfortable doing that, he asked cricket fans who go to watch the IPL matches to wear black clothes to support the protests.
Actor Sathyaraj also shared a similar sentiment, saying the IPL matches in the present situation will become an unwanted distraction for the people. “I’m a big supporter for all kinds of sports. But, if you organise an IPL match at a time when the youngsters are increasingly raising their voices for their social rights, especially after Jallikattu protests, it may divert their attention from the main issues.”
Veteran filmmaker Bharathiraja has also requested the BCCI to postpone the IPL tournament in Tamil Nadu. Director Ameer reportedly said a delegation of film artists will be meeting the Governor on the same matter.
Directors Vetrimaaran, Ram, Cheran have also expressed their support for banning the IPL matches in Chennai until current issues are resolved.
Actor Simbu made a high emotional pitch on the issues in a press meet as he skipped the silent protest organised by the Nadigar Sangam on Sunday. He said one of the reasons why he choose to stay away from the protest because he was not invited.
Simbu seemed to have been confused about who suggested the idea of CSK players wearing a black badge as part of the ongoing protests in Tamil Nadu. First, he thought, it was his father T Rajender, then he asked whether it was Rajinikanth or Kamal Haasan and eventually settled for late President Abdul Kalam.
In an unexpected outburst, Simbu questioned no matter who said it, the person said it for the good of Tamilians and there was no harm in following it. If the IPL games happen in Chennai despite all the objections, he implored, the management to allow ‘them’ inside the house. “I’m not saying don’t conduct the matches here. I’m only requesting you to let us inside the stadium,” he said.
He also requested CSK skipper MS Dhoni to express his solidarity with the people of Tamil Nadu on his own terms. The Chennai police, meanwhile, reportedly have also asked the BCCI to stop people wearing black clothes entering the stadium, presumably in response to the clarion call by Rajinikanth.
CSK is set to play Kolkata Knight Riders on Tuesday at Chennai’s Chidambaram Stadium. And Rajeev Shukla, the IPL chairman, on Monday clarified that the matches in Chennai will be held as per the schedule announced earlier. He also asked not to drag IPL into politics.