Special Correspondent

Asks pro-Telangana agitators not to target film personalities in their own interest

“Industry providing direct employment to thousands of people, 80% of whom were locals”

Cites contribution of those belonging to Telangana to the Telugu film industry

HYDERABAD: Describing as ‘unfortunate’ the attacks on the sets of films during outdoor shooting, Chief Minister K. Rosaiah said he would soon call a meeting of representatives of the film industry to identify their requirements and take appropriate steps to protect them.

At a media conference here on Wednesday, he appealed to pro-Telangana agitators not to target film personalities and their shooting units in their own interest.

Apart from supporting the State’s economy, the industry was providing direct employment to thousands of people, 80 per cent of whom were locals.

He termed as “painful”, the charge levelled by some leaders that film personalities were looting wealth from Telangana.

Fear in industry

The recent attacks on the film units had instilled so much fear in the industry that some of them were considering returning to Chennai from where they had come. Any such move would be disastrous since the film industry had shifted to Hyderabad through the efforts of successive Chief Ministers.

It was only after persuasive efforts and offer of incentives that actors and producers, directors, technicians and others had shifted to Hyderabad. The government, at that time, had offered land in Hyderabad at market value to film personalities for setting up studios and it was not proper to say now that the land was given away at throwaway prices.

Telangana contribution

He said the contribution made to the Telugu film industry by those belonging to Telangana was no less. Actors of yesteryear like T. L. Kantha Rao, Thyagaraj, Prabhakar Reddy and the current hero Nitin, besides great writers like C. Narayana Reddy and Dasaradhi and lyricists Ashok Teja and Chandra Bose, all belonged to Telangana.

The Chief Minister regretted that even the shooting units of the film featuring Mahesh Babu and Junior NTR, who did not say anything on the Telangana issue, were attacked.

The only reason why film-making units of Mohan Babu and Allu Arjun were attacked was that the former and the latter’s uncle K. Chiranjeevi espoused the cause of a unified State.

He hoped the tempers, which were running high, would cool down soon.