In a series of tweets, singer Chinmayi says that the dubbing union bye-law only mandates an amount of Rs 2500 to become a member, whereas she was being asked to pay Rs 1.5 lakh.

Chinmayi asked to apologise pay Rs 15 lakh to be reinstated into Tamil dubbing unionFacebook/Chinmayi
news Controversy Saturday, December 29, 2018 - 13:26

Singer Chinmayi who was recently informed of her termination from the South Indian Cine Television Artist and Dubbing Union (SICTADU) has been asked to pay Rs 1.5 lakh and submit an apology note to the Union in order to obtain a new membership. The decision followed a Dubbing Coordinators meet that was held on Friday.

In a series of tweets, singer Chinmayi says that the Dubbing Union bye-law only mandates an amount of Rs 2500 to become a member whereas she has been asked to pay Rs 1.5 lakh for it now.

Speaking to TNM, Dubbing Union coordinator Santhakumar, who was also present during the meet shares that the Union will provide a receipt for the amount. “She can also choose to continue with her present membership by paying a fine amount to the Union. This fine amount will be discussed and informed to her by the Dubbing committee. The apology note will have to explain the reason why she did not pay the renewal amount,” he says.

Santhakumar also shares that all members who do not have a lifetime membership with the Union will have to pay an annual renewal amount of Rs 170. “Chinmayi has not paid this membership renewal fee for the past two years and so her membership has been cancelled,” he says.

In November this year, Chinmayi posted a video on her YouTube page clarifying that she had, in fact, paid a lifetime membership fee of Rs 5,000, in excess of the prescribed amount.

In the video, Chinmayi can be heard saying that the reason given for her termination is false since she had already paid for a lifetime membership.

“In 2016, February 11, I have a bank transfer that has gone out to the dubbing union for the payment of a lifetime membership fee. It is pegged at Rs 2,500 in the bye-law book which is in Tamil. But they asked me to pay Rs 5,000 and I paid it. They have not given me a receipt for it. One week later, they have also released a payment for a film that I had dubbed for, after reducing 10%,” she said.

Chinmayi, however, admits that neither the union nor she followed up to get a receipt for the payment.

While the bye-law mandates that every new member will have to pay an amount of Rs 2500 for joining the Union, blacklisted member Bhooma Subbarao alleges that this has never been the case. “Rs 2500 is just in paper when actually the aspiring artist will have to cough up Rs 1.5 lakh to the Union,” she says. In May 2016, Booma was suspended from the Union for allegedly defaming the Union and its members on a social media group. She then filed a civil suit against unlawful termination and an injunction was granted in her favour. The Union, however, has appealed the court order and Bhooma alleges that the isolation has dried up her offers.

Santhakumar points out that even a Dubbing Coordinator, the middlemen between the dubbing artists and the production houses will today have to pay a refundable entry fee of Rs 50,000. “I joined in 1988 after paying Rs 100. I am a lifetime coordinator with the Union,” he adds.

He also goes on to say that for lifetime membership, the amount is Rs 2 lakh and it comes with a white card.

When TNM asked Radha Ravi, SICTADU’s President, to clarify the disparity in membership fee in October this year he had said, “If they know how to run the Union, they can ask me this question. They will not be asking this if they knew how administration works.”

Award-winning singer Chinmayi is also a popular, multi-lingual voice artiste and has dubbed for actors like Samantha, Tamannaah, Trisha, Priyanka Chopra (Thoofan), Amy Jackson to name a few. She has also received the Nandi awards for Dubbing in 2011 and 2014 for Ye Mayam Chesave and Manam respectively.

Her fallout with the Dubbing Union escalated soon after she spoke out on the alleged sexual harassment by veteran actor Radha Ravi who heads the union.

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