Monday, November 29, 2004

Gowda tries to mollify film activists

Gowda tries to mollify film activists
Times of India

Bangalore: Giving up hope of the state government intervening in the ongoing film controversy, a delegation of Kannada producers on Sunday met one of the coalition’s high commands — JD(S) chief H.D. Deve Gowda — seeking a solution.

Even as preparations are on for a full-fledged pan-Kannada agitation from Tuesday, Gowda’s intervention is being seen as a last-ditch attempt to prevent further embarrassment to the government. “He told us the government was very keen to help us and counselled us to be patient. He said he will advise the government to do whatever possible to help us,’’ producers’ association president Basant Kumar Patil told The Times of India.

Gowda’s intervention appears to have worked, for the industry has softened its militant stand against the government over its perceived “anti-Kannada industry’’ tilt. This led to unsavoury incidents of booing and hurling of footwear at chief minister N. Dharam Singh during the Vidhana Soudha dharna on November 25.

Patil said: “We’re aware the government is bound by the legal restrictions following the Supreme Court and High Court stays on the moratorium against otherlanguage films. We don’t expect them to intervene now, so we will discuss among ourselves and decide what to do next.’’ The situation is piquant as Gowda’s son, JD(S) state unit working president and film producer H.D. Kumaraswamy, has taken a strong stand against the ongoing agitation. But the issue reportedly did not come up in the meeting.

A meeting of the pan-Kannada umbrella has been called on Monday, where film stars, including Rajkumar, are to participate. Besides the Kannada and progressive organisations who joined hands with the film industry during the Vidhana Soudha dharna, TV artistes and technicians too are to attend.

A host of writers have been invited to the convention, including poets G.S. Shivarudrappa, K.S. Nisar Ahmed, Chandrashekara Kambara, Kannada Sahitya Parishat president Chandrashekar Patil and De Javare Gowda. With this, the agitation is being given the shape of a Kannada Jaagruthi Jatha (Kannada awareness movement).

“We’ll discuss all matters pertaining to Karnataka’s land, water, culture and language. We are making a commitment that even if our film industry issue is resolved, we’ll work for the cause of Kannada,’’ film industry action committee convener Nanjunde Gowda said.

Immediate action, however, will be on the film front. Karunadu Sene chief Sridhar said: “The plan is still on to picket theatres screening movies that violate the threeweek moratorium on non-Kannada films. Everything will be finalised at Monday’s convention.’’

Hulchul despite moratorium

Another Hindi film — Akshaye Khanna-Kareena Kapoor starrer Hulchul — is set to defy the three-week moratorium on otherlanguage films in the state. Exhibitors told The Times of India: “The film will be released in four theatres on Wednesday.’’

Hulchul was released nationwide on November 26, but was kept away from Bangalore theatres fearing protests from the Kannada activists. Exhibitors, however, said: “The issue of this moratorium against other-language films will figure in the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) beginning in Goa on Monday. It will embarrass the Kannada industry.’’


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