Few takers for Sarath Kumar’s bid to hijack Hogenekkal

April 10th, 2008 - 5:23 pm ICT by admin  


Chennai, April 10 (IANS) Actor-turned-politician Sarath Kumar’s move to “hijack the Hogenekkal tangle and use Tamil film industry for his personal agenda” may have few takers, industry insiders indicated here. A senior member of the Film Employees’ Federation of South India (FEFSI) sees the whole thing as a “farce”.

FEFSI is the umbrella organisation of associations of 22 vital crafts in filmmaking, including cinematography, choreography, lighting, and editing, representing the entire south Indian film industry, who all were not represented during Friday’s protest fast.

“Despite our representing the entire south Indian filmdom, we were not consulted. We cannot take sides in multi-state disputes. The publicity received by Sarath’s hasty stunt thanks to television channels’ frenzy (Friday) diverted the real issue,” a FEFSI member told IANS, requesting anonymity.

“He (Sarath) cannot hijack Tamil film industry for his political party’s private agenda to gain mileage. That it is a farce is evident from the non-attendance of Sarath’s wife (and media mogul) Radhika herself,” he said.

Even those present during the agitation had reservations, sources said.

Actor-legislator Vijaykanth, reportedly peeved at being tersely invited by “a low level gopher” in the South Indian Artistes’ Association, raised the matter in the state assembly before the fast and gave the top brass on the dais a piece of his mind.

Vijaykanth discussed only the legal aspect of the Hogenekkal tangle, ignoring the Tamil film industry’s grouse.

The actor is to lead a demonstration in Dharmapuri Thursday.

Ace director Bharti Raja, who successfully coordinated the Tamil film industry’s protest rally all the way from here to Neyveli in 2002 over the perennial Cauvery tangle, raised other relevant political issues.

“The rationale behind the Friday fast is an unexplained mystery. Will Sarath antagonise (actor-politician) Karthik, an absentee himself, at the expense of a future political alliance?” Raja asked derisively during the launch of his television series for Kalaignar TV - a channel owned by the family of Chief Minister Karunanidhi Tuesday.

Top technicians, conspicuously absent from the fast and silent on the issue, include cinematographer P.C. Sriram and music maestros A.R. Rahman and Ilayaraja.

Sarath Kumar, who heads the South Indian Artistes’ Association, and Akila India Samathuva Makkal Katchi (AISMK) Tuesday sought written explanations within a fortnight from everyone in the Tamil film industry for “absenteeism from a demonstration for a cause dear to Tamil Nadu”.

The SIAA’s response would be case specific on the basis of each explanation, said Kumar.

Mumtaz, a Malayalam actress and executive committee member of SIAA, is the only major film personality to proffer a written explanation for her absence citing a medical check up in Mumbai.

Agitations against Tamil establishments (mainly cinemas) began in Bangalore following Tamil Nadu CM Karunanidhi’s announcement to go ahead with the Rs.13.34 billion Hogenekkal Drinking Water Project despite opposition in Karnataka March 31.

The project has since been put on hold.

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