The sharing of Cauveri river water has been a major bone of contention between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The issue has been going on for decades and has become a controversial topic which is debated very hotly before every election. The Cauvery water crisis is an issue which can affect a large population of the four states which are a party to the dispute. Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry are the parties involved in the dispute; however Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are the two major parties as they stand to benefit the most from a decision. Rajinikanth is all set to join politics in the next elections; he has shown intent to field candidates in the upcoming elections. This political move has taken a hit on the movie career of Rajinikanth as well; controversy has surrounded the release of Rajinikanth starrer Kaala which is scheduled to hit theatres nationwide tomorrow. Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy has created a controversy regarding the release of the movie by asking the makers of the movie to not release it in Karnataka. What is surprising is that Kumaraswamy’s statement came after the Karnataka High Court had ordered the government to provide security to the movie theatres screening the movie.
Kumaraswamy said,“It is the government’s duty to respect the high court’s orders. However, my personal opinion, as a Kannadiga, in such situation where there is opposition, it is ideal if they will not release the movie. As a government we will take all necessary measures, but if some organisations protest and because of this people don’t turn up, under such circumstances, and when they don’t allow our movies to be released, I feel they should not release the movie.”
These statements show that the Karnataka CM is willing to go against the orders of the High Court. Pro-Kannada outfits which have been protesting against the release of the movie will receive a major boost owing to this support they have received from their Chief Minister. What is saddening is that there might be increased violence and repercussions since Kumaraswamy has tacitly given a go ahead to the protesting groups.
Kamal Haasan had earlier drawn flak for not raising the issue of the release of ‘Kaala’ when he had gone to meet H.D. Kumaraswamy over the Cauvery water distribution issue. Kumaraswamy will also receive a lot of flak for this statement from the whole of India, a ban on a movie especially on the issue of regional politics is a silly one. It needs to be condemned across all sections of the society and Kumaraswamy should be given a fitting reply for thinking that he is above the High Court judgement. Kumaraswamy is seeking to kill two birds with one stone with this move, as he wishes to be seen as the one who confronted the biggest movie star in India.
There are many types of religious, regional and caste politics which are played by political parties in India. Kumaraswamy’s attempt to thwart the screening of Rajinikanth’s Kaala will further deepen the regional divide between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. This political tool will harm southern parts of India and will disturb the region in the upcoming years. Rajinikanth is a super star whose popularity is not restricted to Tamil Nadu or Karnataka, his fans are spread around the globe. It is no use banning a movie which is not even related to the Cauvery issue, and the decision to watch or abstain from watching should be left to the individuals. H.D. Kumaraswamy and his dirty political stances should be derided and condemned and the movie should be released in the whole of India in accordance with the High Court’s decision and not as per the whims of an appeasement driven politician.