Friday, November 26, 2004

Starry tantrums on the streets, citizens bear the brunt

Starry tantrums on the streets, citizens bear the brunt

It may be still some time before an amicable solution is arrived at. But it is the common man who suffers.

Deccan Herald

A starry meet turns into a scary mess. This, probably, sums up the the efforts put by the Kannada film personalities to draw the attention of the government by staging a dharna near Vidhana Soudha on Thursday. At the end of the day, the problems of the industry remained unresolved.

And, the film industry has decided go ahead with its plans to stage a protest on November 29 too. The industry may go in for a state-wide agitation on that day.
The first victims were the road users around Vidhana Soudha. The traffic on the busy Basaveshwara Circle came to a grinding halt for nearly three hours when slogan-shouting Kannada activists blocked vehicle movement at around 11 am. The flow of traffic towards the circle, as a result, was diverted to other parts, leading to heavy traffic pile up on T Thimmaiah Road, Raj Bhavan Road, Ambedkar Road, Infantry Road, Queen’s Road and Sheshadri Road.

Office-goers too were badly hit due to the protest. Hundreds of Government employees heading towards the Multi-storied building were literally struck as all roads leading to the work place were blocked.

Star attraction
Vidhana Soudha may be an architectural marvel, which attracts tourists from across the globe. But on Thursday, the corridors of power attracted a large number of people for entirely a different reason.

Apart from Kannada activists, large number of people had gathered near Vidhana Soudha West Gate just to have a glimpse of their favourite stars from the Kannada filmdom, who were staging a dharna, demanding imposition of moratorium on non-
Kannada films.

Not only passers-by, but a large number of Government employees from the nearby Multi-storied building and L H Home had gathered at the venue to have a look at film stars.

Besides Rajkumar and Vishnuvardhan, new age Kannada film heros Upendra, Sudeep, Dharshan, Shivarajkumar and Puneetrajkumar acted as crowd-pullers.

Heroines don’t sizzle
Heroines, who made a guest appearance at the protest, disappointed the gathering. The female stars failed to glitter as they arrived on the scene at the fag-end of the show of strength of the film industry. Popular actresses such as Prema and Anu Prabhakar were among those who come just a few minutes before the protest concluded.

Chandru hospitalised
The Kannada film industry’s newly-designated spokesperson Mukhyamantri Chandru, who took the lead in organising the protest, ended up in the hospital in the afternoon.

After participating in the protest, Mr Chandru is learnt to have developed hypertension. Immediately he was rushed to a private hospital and was discharged in the evening.

Film industry hypocrisy
It was the turn of Sri Channamalla Swamji of Nidumamidi mutt to join the issue of film row on Thursday. While interacting with media persons, the pontiff was critical of the Kannada film industry’s agitation to protect Kannada and termed it a move sans sincerity.


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