Not All Pro-Kannada Outfits Favour the ‘Kaala’ Ban in Karnataka
Neither the distributors’ association nor the KFCC has asked for a ban.
A few days ago, several leaders of pro-Kannada outfits met to discuss a state-wide protest against the release of superstar Rajinikanth’s film Kaala.
Although the outfits seem confident of being able to keep the film out of theaters, in reality, only a handful of pro-Kannada organisations have called for a ban.
Speaking to TNM, President of the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce, Sa Ra Govindu, said that the KFCC is not supporting any ban and that the chamber was only accepting a proposal put forth by the film’s distributor.
“Goldie Flims, which is the distributor for Kaala, has decided not to screen the film in theatres across Karnataka. If the distributors have taken a decision then we cannot do anything about it,” Sa Ra Govindu said.
However, it seems that even the Karnataka Film Distributors’ Association is not supporting the ban and claim that they have not taken any such decision.
“We are mostly distributors for Kannada films. There are individual distributors for other language films and they do not fall under the umbrella of the Kannada film distributors. Besides, we do not support any ban without any logical reason. I don’t even understand who wants to ban this movie and why. There are some elements which may have scared the distributors. I can say one thing confidently. No distributor will take such a huge decision unless he is sure of losing out something important. They are resorting to extortion in the name of a greater cause,” said FMN Kumar, President of the Karnataka Film Distributors’ Association.
Speaking to TNM, a member of Goldie Films, the distributor for Kaala said that several pro-Kannada outfits threatened to vandalise theatres and forcefully stop the screening of the film if they decided to screen it.
Why should we take this upon ourselves? It’s just loss of business. We are in it for money and when there is a very high chance that we will be under loss, it does not make sense to screen the film until the issue is resolved. We are not asking for any kind of ban.
The source added that the film may release in multiplexes and screens where there isn't much of a security threat. As of now, however, bookings are not open.
The Film Chamber, meanwhile, said that the Confederation of Pro-Kannada Organisations had called for the ban and have threatened to conduct state-wide protests if the movie is screened.
Speaking to TNM, Vatal Nagaraj, the President of Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha, said the pro-Kannada organisations would hold a state-wide protest on 7 May if Kaala is released in theatres. “In Bengaluru, we will protest near Mysuru Bank Circle on 7 May if the movie is screened. We will not allow theatres to screen the film,” he said.
However, T Narayanagowda, President of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike said that his outfit has not declared to protest against the film’s release.
“We have made no such decision (call for a ban). The protest against a movie may not help in fighting for the Cauvery issue as the Cauvery Management Board is going to be set up. We will hold a meeting today (Tuesday) and figure out what the problem is,” Narayanagowda said.
Ganesh Chetan, a member of Kannada Grahakara Koota and a vocal pro-Kannada activist, too, said that he is against the alleged ban.
Who is Vatal Nagaraj to call for a ban? What authority does he have? Are these people a part of any government body which can make decisions in this regard? No. Then how can they ban a film? Besides, such vigilante justice outfits should not be supported. The Cauvery Management Board has been gazetted. One cannot go against the Supreme Court. There is no meaning to this protest. Except for one or two outfits, a majority of us are not supporting the banGanesh Chetan to TNM
However, Praveen Shetty, a member of another faction of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike said that he and Vatal Nagaraj are supporting the ban on Kaala. Shetty claims that Rajinikanth’s statements against Karnataka during the bandh in Tamil Nadu a few months ago, have hurt the sentiments of Kannadigas.
“When there was a bandh in Tamil Nadu, even the people there did not allow the Kannada film Nagarahavu to be released. Why should we support the release of a film from their state? I agree that there are many people who would have worked for the film but they only want to make money, right? So for money they want Karnataka otherwise they will abuse Kannadigas. Rajinikanth must apologise,” Praveen Shetty added.
According to reports, Wunderbar Films, the producers of Kaala have filed a case in the Karnataka High Court, asking for the film to be released in the state and for security arrangements to be made in theatres.
(Published in an arrangement with The News Minute.)
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