As the battle between Karnakata and Tamil Nadu intensifies over the Cauvery issue, actors turned politicians Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan joined a protest in Chennai, demanding the formation of Cauvery Managment Board (CMB). Actors including Dhanush, Vishal, Surya and music composer Ilayaraja were also present at the protest.
Stating that it is embarrassing to hold Indian Premier League (IPL) matches in Chennai, while the state is grappling with Cauvery row, Rajinikanth said the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) players should wear black badges while playing. He also asked his followers to wear the same when the Chennai team plays.
Calling the setting up of Cauvery Management Board a fair demand, Rajinikanth said that that the Centre should pay it immediate attention. “I’d like to tell the Centre that, what every Tamilan unanimously wants is CBM. If you don’t set up the board at the earliest, you will be subjected to the anger and disappointment of every Tamilan,” the actor said.
He also said people from different walks of life have been protesting across Tamil Nadu for the welfare of poor farmers. “To many, it’s unclear who we are protesting for. We are not protesting for the benefits of rich farmers with hundreds of acres of land. We are doing it for poor farmers whose livelihood depends on the farm produce they make from a piece of land they own,” he said adding that even though Karnataka’s politicians might not understand the agony, the poor farmers of Karnataka will.
On Kamal Haasan’s comments that he will oppose Rajinikanth if he takes up ‘divine politics,’ Rajinikanth said, “He is not my enemy. My enemy is unemployment and poverty.”
While Rajinikanth had earlier tweeted saying Cauvery Management Board was the “only acceptable just solution for us,” Kamal Haasan had accused the Tamil Nadu government of being “subservient” to the Centre rather than upholding the state’s rights on the Cauvery issue. He had also alleged that the fast taken up by AIADM members earlier this week was “farcical.” While it was the Centre’s responsibility to constitute the CMB, the state government “cannot hallucinate that it has fulfilled its duty towards the people who elected them by just filing a contempt petition after the deadline or by holding a farcical one-day hunger strike”, he had said in the statement.
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The Tamil film fraternity observed a silent protest demanding the setting up of the Cauvery Management Board and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC). It also opposed the operation of copper smelter plant of the Vedanta group in Tuticorin.
The protest organised by the South Indian Film Artistes Association, popularly known as Nadigar Sangam, saw the participation of members of Tamil Film Producers Council and Film Employees Federation of South India.
Leading actors, movie and music directors and other technicians participated in the protest. Among those present were music directors Illayaraja, Shankar-Ganesh, actors Surya, Vijay, Vishal, Prashanth and others. According to Nadigar Sangam President Nasser, the silent protest is held to convey one message — the constitution of the CMB and the CWRC.
The state has witnessed multiple protests, bandh calls, hunger strikes and demonstrations by various political members and farmers in order to demand immediate action by Centre. DMK leader M K Stalin and AIADMK leader T T V Dinakaran launched a padayatra to safeguard Tamil Nadu’s interest in the Cauvery row.
The latest plan of Stalin, who earlier planned to march from Trichy to Chennai and then enter the city with thousands of partymen and farmers, is to cover the entire delta. While the padayatra launched on Saturday will pass through Thanjavur, Nagapattinam and Tiruvarur districts, another march launched on April 9 will cover Ariyalur and Perambalur.
Hoping that Tamil Nadu gets a favourable ruling from Supreme Court before he completes the march, Satlin said, “If not, this protest march will be stronger in the coming days,” he said, adding that the ruling AIADMK lacks the courage to even issue a statement condemning the BJP-led central government.