As the release date of Rajnikanth's upcoming movie approaches, trouble for the superstar continues. After the actor's statement on the Cauvery dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, Rajnikanth's new movie Kaala has been banned in Karnataka. The Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC) is upset with Rajinikanth's comments following which it decided not to allow screening of Kaala, due for release on June 7 in the state. Now the Film Federation of India (FFI) has jumped in and has requested the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce (SIFCC) today to expedite its release in the state. FFI President Sakshi Mehra spoke to SIFCC to let the movie release in Karnataka in the interest of the film industry. On May 20, Rajnikanth reportedly said, "Let us not get into the technicalities of whether it is going to be an authority or a board. The court has given a clear ruling," after the Supreme Court directed Karnataka to release 2 tmc ft of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu on May 3.
SIFCC Secretary L Suresh said they had sent a letter to KFCC to solve the problem by convening a meeting with the Kannada outfits. "I have spoken to KFCC president Sa Ra Govindu and also written a letter to him. The KFCC would probably call for a meeting with the outfits tomorrow or the day after," he said. Suresh said it is unfortunate that cinema is being mixed with politics, which would only result in a loss to the film industry. "The ban on Kaala will not only affect the Tamil film industry, but also the Kannada film fraternity and the Indian film industry as a whole," he further added.
Karnataka Rajinikanth Fans Association has also written to KFCC, seeking Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy's intervention to solve the issue. "Politics should not be mixed with cinema. Rajinikanth had made remarks on the formation of Cauvery water board, which could be beneficial to both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu," President of Karnataka Rajinikanth Fans Association, Rajani Santosh said. It must be mentioned that the actor has often faced the ire of pro-Kannada organisations for his comments on the Cauvery dispute.
On Sunday, Minister of State for Finance and Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan asked DMK working president MK Stalin to request its ally, Congress, in Karnataka to take steps to release the film.
Popular actor Prakash Raj who is known for freely expressing his views said that while he does not agree with Rajnikanth's comments, he does not see why the release of his film should be banned in the state. He said that the Cauvery dispute is a touchy subject for both Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and a practical solution must be found together. "There is a deep bond between man and a river. So when we talk of Cauvery we do extremely emotional about it. This is true of people from both states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu where emotions run high when we try to find a solution to share water. But getting emotional does not solve an issue; we need to be practical about it too," a statement posted by Raj on Twitter read.
"A statement made by actor Rajinikanth has hurt us deeply. Yes, I agree. In order to express our dissent, a few organisations have called for a ban on the film. Is that what we Kannadigas want? We don't know and we will never know. If the film is released and people decide not to see it as a mark of their protest only then will be able to gauge what people really want. But these fringe elements deciding on behalf of the people will not let us know it. Who are these people to decide what most Kannadigas want or don't want?" said the actor.
(With PTI inputs)