Tamil Nadu Bureau
Film fraternity observes fast, lawyers boycott courts, Assembly appreciates gesture
CHENNAI: Members of the film industry, lawyers, politicians and legislators on Friday made common cause in support of the Hogenakkal drinking water project and voiced their protest against the opposition building up in Karnataka to the project.While actors and others in the film industry organised a day-long fast, advocates stayed off courts and the Tamil Nadu Assembly made a special mention of the show of solidarity in support of the State’s stand on the issue.
Tempers ran high with various groups coming together to raise objection to the opposition to the project in Karnataka.
In Chepauk, film stars spoke of how Karnataka needed to be taught a lesson. The undisputed crowd-puller of the day, superstar Rajnikanth, strongly condemned Karnataka and its leaders for creating the crisis in order to gain political mileage ahead of elections. The issue had to be nipped in the bud and not allowed to grow like the Cauvery issue. Other actors, including Sarath Kumar and Sathyaraj, matched Rajinikanth in lambasting “disruptive elements” in Karnataka.
But, lending a note of sobriety, actors Kamal Haasan and Vijayakant, while acknowledging the requirements of Tamil Nadu, cautioned against burning bridges with the neighbouring State and provoking violence in response to the violence in Karnataka. Almost the entire film industry, including television actors, joined them.
The Tamil Nadu Assembly recorded its appreciation for the film industry members for organising the strike and fast to protest against attacks on cinema halls screening Tamil films in Bangalore and against Karnataka’s opposition to the project. Cinema halls had suspended two shows and all the studios were closed during the day in Chennai.
Inter-state bus and lorry traffic was suspended on the Sathyamangalam route following protests by a Kannada organisation in Chamaraja Nagar on Friday.
Buses were stopped in Erode near the Bannari Amman checkpost and Thalavady.
In Sathyamangalam, a few political organisations painted slogans on the windshields of buses bearing Karnataka registration.
Advocates belonging to the Madras High Court Advocates’ Association boycotted courts and tribunals to highlight its demand that the Union government take steps to provide proper protection to Tamils in Karnataka. Advocates took out a procession and staged a demonstration on the High Court premises.
The Tamil Nadu Advocates’ Association, in a letter to the Prime Minister, sought his immediate intervention in the matter to protect the interests of Tamils in Karnataka.
The letter said the conduct of organisations in opposing the implementation of the Hogenakkal project was detrimental to the country’s integrity.