The fall-out of Cauvery water dispute has led to suspension of screening tamil films in Bangalore and the whole of Karnataka now, following last week’s row over Kidaari film where the theatre was attacked and stormed by some pro-Kannada activists.
Announcing the suspension of screening of Tamil film ‘Sadhuram 2’, its director Sumanth Radhakrishnan said, “No Tamil films will release in Karnataka for some time… since we are postponing the release in Karnataka, we have also decided to withhold its release overseas.”
Even Trisha and Prakash Raj film ‘Nayagi’ will also not release this week in Karnataka and release of Vikram’s ‘Iru Mugan’ is also delayed. It may be noted that cable TV operators have already suspended Tamil channels in Karnataka, turning the ire against the Tamil entertainment industry for the Cauvery dispute.
Bangalore is a major source of revenue for Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam movies and it is a key market that even Rajnikanth had in 2008 apologized for his snidy remarks on activists ahead of his film ‘Kuselan’ release. This time, Rajinikanth has remained silent on the issue and many actors and industry persons have appealed for calm.
Kannada actress Ragini Dwivedi said, “Cauvery is ours, we will not let it go. Why should we give water when we don’t have any? Come out for the struggle, stand with the farmers. I am supporting the farmers, you too should.”
However, Sudeep, a Kannadiga known for his roles in Telugu and Tamil films, has tweeted: “#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.”
Echoing similar sentiments, Tamil actor Simbu tweeted: “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.”
Prakash Raj, eminent actor in tamil, Telugu and Kannada films, too tweeted saying: “Let’s seek justice … But not with such inhuman violence. It’s painful to see children terrified. PEACE pleassss.”
The sitation is similar to 2012 when Tamil films were not allowed to be screened and 2008 when Rajnikanth’s films were not allowed to be released by Karnataka Rakshana Vedike. This time, there is no open statement from any of the pro-Kannada groups but distributors and directors have decided to wait and watch before releasing their films in Banaglore, though it is a major market for them with 35 lakh Tamil-speaking population in the city.