“As an individual, as a Kannadiga, I request the producer of the movie that in this kind of atmosphere, it is not good on their part to release the movie,” said the Karnataka CM.

Kumaraswamys controversial statement on Kaala speaks as distributor not as CM
news Politics Tuesday, June 05, 2018 - 19:26

On the day that the Karnataka High Court ordered the state government to provide security to theatres that screen Kaala, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said that as a Kannadiga, he would not advocate releasing the Rajinikanth-starrer.

With the rider that he was speaking as an individual and not as the Chief Minister, Kumaraswamy told reporters in Bengaluru, “As a CM, I have to implement direction of High Court, it's my responsibility. As an individual, as a Kannadiga, I request the producer of the movie that in this kind of atmosphere, it is not good on their part to release the movie. As a producer and distributor, I can say that even if they release the movie, it won’t be useful to them financially.”

The ‘atmosphere’ that Kumaraswamy is referring to is the Cauvery dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. He went on to say that Kaala can be released after the water sharing dispute is settled.  

Kumaraswamy’s words come on the back of the Confederation of Pro-Kannada Organisations had called for a ban on Rajinikanth's much awaited flick, stating that Rajinikanth’s statement regarding the Cauvery issue had hurt the sentiments of Kannadigas.

On Tuesday, the Karnataka High Court ordered the state government to provide adequate police protection to theatres for the smooth screening of the film.

Wunderbar Films had on Monday filed a petition with the HC stating that the producers would suffer huge losses due to an unofficial ban called by pro-Kannada outfits.

The High Court, in its order, has asked the producers to furnish details of exhibitors and instructed the state government to provide security to such places and ensure no inconvenience is caused for the film’s release.

The High Court, however, observed that it could not force exhibitors to display the film if they are unwilling to. However, in an instance where they are willing to screen the film, the state needs to provide security, it said. 

A member related to Goldie Films, the distributor for Kaala in Karnataka, said that the film will be screened in all multiplexes. However, they are yet to decide how many single screens will feature Kaala.

Meanwhile, several leaders of pro-Kannada organisations also spoke out against the ban calling it “futile”.

The Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce too clarified that it had not imposed a ban on the film but the distributors and exhibitors had refused to screen the film.

The Distributors’ Association also said that they were against the ban and said that they were not involved in the decision to stop the film’s screening.

A member of Goldie Films had earlier told TNM that several pro-Kannada outfits threatened to vandalise theatres and forcefully stop the screening of the film if they decided to screen it.

“Why should we take this upon ourselves? It's just loss of business. We are in it for money and when there is a very high chance that we will be under loss, it does not make sense to screen the film until the issue is resolved. We are not asking for any kind of ban,” the source said.

However, President of Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha, Vatal Nagaraj has threatened to hold a state-wide agitation and disrupt the screening of the film.

“In Bengaluru, we will protest near Mysuru Bank Circle on June 7 if the movie is screened. We will not allow theatres to screen the film,” he said.

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