The election and the results of South Indian Artists Association, popularly known as 'Nadigar Sangam' is nothing less than the gripping story of a movie by itself - filled with rivalry, drama and a lot of twists.
Here is the synopsis of the proposed Nadigar Sangam election story. It was a clash of clans - actors Nasser and Vishal led “Pandavar Ani” against filmmaker and actor Bhagyaraj and producer Ishari K Ganesh led “Swami Sankaradas Ani'' resulting in the former emerging victorious, post a long legal battle. The results were released on Sunday, after over two years since the elections were held on 23 June 2019.
So, who are the protagonists and the antagonists of this story? What does the screenplay look like? Is this an action film or a sentimental one? To know this, just like a typical Tamil film, let's open it with a flashback.
The South Indian Artists Association is a union for film, television, and stage actors, formed in 1952 and based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Since cinema and politics have been inseparable twins both on and off screen in the Tamil industry, serving as an office bearer in the association created a natural route for actors to join politics.
For instance, renowned actor MG Ramachandran, fondly called MGR became the state’s Chief Minister after his stint with the Nadigar Sangam. Actor Radha Ravi, during his tenure with the association, affiliated himself with several political parties, actor Vijayakanth created his own political party called Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam, after he resigned his post in Nadigar Sangam. Similarly actor Sarath Kumar created his own political party and had a close alliance with the then Chief Minister J Jayalalitha of AIADMK. In addition to this political angle, the coveted leadership positions in Nadigar Sangam also gives considerable control over the Kollywood industry for the elected winners, including the power to introduce schemes and sort major conflicts between the artists.
Now comes the protagonist of this story, “Pandavar Ani” (assuming winners are the protagonists of a story). Accusing the office bearers at that time, Sarath Kumar and team, who had held office unopposed three times till then, of financial mismanagement of the Nadigar Sangam functioning, "Pandavar Ani" consisting of actors like Nasser, Vishal and Karthi stormed into the 2015 election and won it. The key declaration of their election manifesto was their promised state-of-the-art building in T Nagar, Chennai. However, construction of the association’s building complex continued to be incomplete even after their 3 year term was extended by another six months and was severely criticised by the opposition groups. Alleging irregularities in the leadership of "Pandavar Ani", some of its own members like Ishari Ganesh exited the faction, created the antagonist of this story, a new team “Swami Sankaradas Ani'' led by K Bhagyaraj to face them head on in the 2019 elections. However, the election was challenged before the High Court by the Swami Sankaradas Ani, alleging that the number of votes casted were higher than the number of members in the association while depriving the voting rights of several deserving members.
In June 2020, the election was declared null and void, and the government appointed a special officer for running the affairs of the Nadigar Sangam. The "Pandavar Ani" then challenged the order before the division bench and was granted interim stay on the order canceling the elections. In February 2022, the Madras High Court ruled that the elections are valid and ordered for initiation of the vote counting process. The results came out on Sunday, after over two years of legal battle, declaring the "Pandavar Ani" as the winning team. Nassar will serve as the President of the Nadigar Sangam with Vishal as the Secretary and Karthi as the Treasurer.
With such twists and turns of members hopping on to opposite teams, fiery action packed speeches between the rival factions and all the legal drama, I think if someone could turn this into a full length movie, this will be a blockbuster for sure.