Raghava M.

Certain Kannada activists have ordered it, says representative of cable operators

BANGALORE: People in parts of the city will have to wait for some more time to see their favourite Tamil television programmes, as the cable operators have decided to continue with their blackout of Tamil television channels. Same is the case with cinemas that generally screen Tamil films.

The emergence of compact discs and digital videos which have added a new dimension to film viewing has in a way provided some entertainment to Tamil film buffs.

It is another matter that people have to put up without the Tamil news channels.

Following what has been described as a "biased verdict" by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal on February 5, the cable operators in Mysore, Mandya, Chamarajanagar unilaterally decided not to air any of the Tamil channels.

A representative of the cable operators said on Sunday that "certain Kannada protagonists" have "ordered" them to continue the blackout till the Government decided on the next course of action insofar as the Cauvery verdict is concerned.

He said, blacking out the Tamil channels "will help in maintaining peace in the Cauvery basin districts".

The fear was that violence might erupt if Tamil programmes, particularly those of the Tamil Nadu Government, are telecast.

He said the cable operators were also in favour of the blackout as they fear damage to their equipment, which are more in the open.

"We face the risk of the cables being snapped and in such an event it will be difficult to reconnect them. We are explaining our position to our subscribers and thus attempting to convince them," he said.

Tamil channel viewers were, however, sore over the blackout and were unconvinced by the explanations offered by the cable operators. Seventy-six-year old R. Nagalakshmi, a resident of Kumara Park East, is one among them.

Brought up in a Tamil background, Ms. Nagalakshmi watches her favourite soaps aired by Tamil channels.

"With the blackout she has become restless. She tries hard to read books. But her age does not permit her to do it for a long time," says Nagalakshmi's daughter-in-law.

N. Shanmugam, a resident of Kamaraj Road, said blacking out Tamil channels and stopping Tamil films from being screened has become another way of protest in the recent years.

Bangaloreans were witness to a similar reaction when thespian Rajkumar was kidnapped.

He said: "We wholeheartedly support the cause of Karnataka and yet are deprived of watching our favourite channels. Resumption of Tamil channels will in no way disturb the peace."