In the Tamil Nadu Assembly on Monday, an unusual debate on film songs began heating up- did MGR-Jayalalithaa films benefited the DMK or its offshoot, the AIADMK?
The Times of India reports that it all started during the debate when fisheries and dairy development with Aranthangi AIADMK legislator E Rathinasabapathy started singing songs from MGR films `Padagotti' and `Oli Vilakku' to drive home the point that songs sung by MGR and Jayalalithaa in films had forecast welfare schemes like free rice, which TN government implemented in later years.
â€œNearly 48 years ago, on a Deepavali-eve night when all were bursting crackers, I was sitting inside a cinema theatre compound, waiting for a ticket for the first-day-first show of my thalaivar's and Amma's movie, `Oli Villakku'. In some of the songs sung in that film, both of them forecast the schemes they were to implement in the state in later years. They also promised better law and order in Tamil Nadu,â€œ said Rathinasabapathy, according to a report in the Times . He sang a few lines of a song in the film and continued with his praise for MGR and Jayalalithaa.
DMK legislators, irritated over the praise of AIADMK leaders, requested deputy speaker Pollachi Jayaraman, who was in the chair, to ask the member to conclude his speech as nothing he said was connected to the debate.
â€œIs there any film or has anyone done anything that has had an impact on the people of Tamil Nadu like our thalaivar? Please don't interrupt Rathinasabapathy ,â€œ said minister for cooperation Sellur K Raju.
Leader of the opposition M K Stalin, meanwhile, asked Rathinasabapathy to stop singing and challenged the minister for a full-scale debate on films and songs with political overtones if the chair allowed. â€œThe songs in the films were penned by someone and sung by someone else. Actors just made lip movements in films,â€œ Stalin pointed out, leading to some unrest in the treasury benches.
An emotional Rathinasabapathy responded, â€œLeader of the opposition should not prevent me from singing MGR film songs. Instead, he can take my voice box and even lifeâ€œ. At that juncture, deputy speaker intervened and asked him to conclude the speech.
Fisheries minister D Jayakumar, for his part, sang a few more songs from other MGR films and said those films were released when â€œour thalaivar was in the DMKâ€œ. This cooled tempers in the DMK camp too. Stalin, who had gone nostalgic by then, said, â€œMGR was a treasurer in the DMK then. I cycled to Mahalakshmi theatre several times to see his movies, and I thank him (MGR) for popularising DMK policies.â€œ