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‘Spell out stand on Kannada-related issues’

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Expressing opposition: Members of the Kannada film industry taking part in the protest rally against implementation of the Hogenakkal drinking water supply project, in Bangalore on Friday.
Expressing opposition: Members of the Kannada film industry taking part in the protest rally against implementation of the Hogenakkal drinking water supply project, in Bangalore on Friday.

Special correspondent

Film personalities stage dharna against Tamil Nadu’s move to go ahead with Hogenakkal project

Ambareesh, Vishnuvardhan conspicuous by their absence

Film industry backs bandh called on April 10

Bangalore: The Kannada film industry has called upon all national and regional political parties to express their stand on all Kannada-related issues, including the Cauvery and the Krishna inter-State water issues and the long-pending demand for implementation of the Mahajan Commission Report, in their respective election manifestoes.

A majority of the Kannada protagonists, particularly leading Kannada film personalities, who staged a dharna here on Friday to protest against the Tamil Nadu Government’s decision to construct a drinking water project at Hogenakkal, were united in the demand on election manifestoes spelling out the stance of the political parties vis-a-vis Hogenakkal.

Many film artistes, directors, producers, technicians and others held the “opportunist politicians” of both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu responsible for the ongoing Hogenakkal imbroglio.

Appeal

They appealed to the people of both the States to refrain from succumbing to the “evil designs” of vested interests and let loose their emotion since such an act could jeopardise the healthy relationship between the two States.

The whole issue was being blown up for political reasons at the cost of the people of both the States, they said. Speakers felt that the Hogenakkal issue would not have gained undue momentum and caused anxiety had Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and Union Minister Anbumani Ramadoss refrained from making “inflammatory and provocative” statements against “Kannada, Kannadigas and the geographical sovereignty of Karnataka.”

The speakers urged Mr. Karunanidhi to shelve the project with due respect to the apex court of the country and “accommodate” amicable relationship between the people who are living along the Cauvery.

They sought the intervention of the Union Government in this regard.

Absence

The conspicuous absence of film actor and Congress MP Ambareesh and actor Vishnuvardhan drew sharp criticism from their own fraternity and the public.

However, the film industry was divided over their absence.

Some were of the opinion that absence of the two leading actors had sent wrong signals about the unity of Kannada film industry over the issue and also dented their image.

Some felt that by abstaining from the dharna, the artistes had sent a “sane” message to their fans and society that artistes should be kept out of “political issues” as they were above such parochial problems.

However, a small section of the industry and public said that mere presence of Mr. Ambareesh and Mr Vishnuvardhan would have helped bringing down the “emotional intensity” on the issue. Both the artistes were to said to be “taking rest” in a private guesthouse near Suntikoppa in Kodagu district owing to health reasons.

Support to bandh

Speaking to The Hindu on the sidelines of the demonstration , secretary of the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce Thomas D’Souza said that the Kannada film industry has decided to support the State bandh call given by the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, Akhila Karnataka Gadi Horata Samithi and other Kannada organisations on April 10.

Many personalities, including Parvathamma Rajkumar, Ravichandran, Darshan, Puneet Rajkumar, Raghavendra Rajkumar, “Mukhyamantri” Chandru, Ganesh, Dwarakish, K.S.L Swamy, B.V. Radha, H.G. Somashekhara Rao, Jayamala, Sundarraj, J. Srinivasamurthy, Yogaraj Bhat and Soori, participated in the dharna.

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