Kannada artists, writers rally for Chaplin statueMarch 20th, 2009 - 11:21 pm ICT by IANS
Bangalore, March 20 (IANS) Over 100 theatre and film personalities held a demonstration here Friday to support Kannada filmmaker Hemanth Hegde’s plans to erect a 62-foot statue of Charlie Chaplin for a movie - a move opposed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers.
The sit-in was held in front of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi on the busy M.G. Road here by the Saahithi Kalaavidara Balaga, an organisation of writers and artists. The aim of the demonstration was to counter objections raised by BJP workers against the installation of Chaplin’s statue on the ground that the master comedian was a Christian.
Director B. Suresha, who participated in the sit-in, said the incident highlighted that “fundamental forces” were on the rise in parts of the state.
“The coastal districts of South Canara and Udupi are witnessing a rise in fundamental activities, which is creating mistrust and hatred among communities. A hate campaign has been let loose by vested interests,” Suresha told reporters.
“The attack on churches, attacks on bars and restaurants and this present incident has to be seen in the context of the rise in rightist fundamental forces. We want people of coastal districts to see through this game,” he added.
BJP workers led by Suresh Bantadi had March 13 stopped Hegde from installing a 62-foot statue of Chaplin in Maravanthe beach (also known as Ottinene beach), about 400 km from here, for his film “House Full”.
Hegde, who was present at the demonstration, stressed that he had obtained permission to install the statue from the state government’s information department, the Baindoor village panchayat of Udupi district and also from the district deputy commissioner’s office.
But a press release from the Udupi District Commissioner P. Hemalatha Wednesday said that even though the film’s unit had applied for permission to erect the statue, it had not been considered as it lacked a few necessary documents.
“The application was not considered because it was not submitted with relevant documents or sufficient information regarding the exact location of the place to erect the statue,” the press statement said.
The sit-in here Friday was attended by noted theatre personalities Kappanna, Nagaraja Murthy, filmmakers Anand P. Raju, Rajendra Kumar Arya, P. Seshadri and V.H. Suresh, vice-president of the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce.
Suresha added that the Saahithi Kalaavidara Balaga would organise a seminar here March 28 to discuss the Chaplin statue row.
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Tags: bharatiya janata party, canara, charlie chaplin, coastal districts, deputy commissioner, district commissioner, district deputy, film personalities, filmmaker, foot statue, fundamental activities, fundamental forces, hate campaign, information department, mahatma gandhi, master comedian, mistrust, necessary documents, udupi, village panchayat