Even as the Confederation of Pro-Kannada Organisations has called for a ban on Rajinikanth's upcoming film Kaala, actor and President of the Tamil Film Producers' Council Vishal has said that he will meet the Chief Minister of Karnataka.
Speaking to reporters in Chennai on Wednesday, Vishal said, "We insisted to Sa Ra Govind (Kannada film producer). Because cinema is different from politics. That's what we insisted from our side. Kaala film has been made by a producer and he has brought it to release stage. Superstar Rajinikanth has acted in it. This is a film. Superstar Rajinikanth coming to politics is politics. We requested that nothing should affect the release. Depending on what decision they take tomorrow morning, we will definitely take efforts to meet Karnataka Chief Minister Kumaraswamy."(sic)
Speaking to TNM earlier, Secretary of the Kannada Film Chamber of Commerce, Umesh Banakar said that distributors and exhibitors had approached the Film Chamber on Tuesday, stating that they do not want to screen Kaala in the state.
â€śThe distributor of the film, Goldie Films and around 25 to 30 exhibitors had met the President of the Film Chamber today (Tuesday) and submitted statements that they do not want to screen Kaala as Rajinikanthâ€™s statements regarding the Cauvery water sharing issue had hurt the sentiments of Kannadigas,â€ť Umesh Banakar said.
On Wednesday, Vishal batted for the actor turned politician, urging the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce to resolve the issue surrounding the release of Kaala. He tweeted that Rajinikanth had only shown his responsibility and had exercised his freedom of speech. Vishal added that the ban was uncalled for.
Wat Rajini sir spoke bout Cauvery issue is called responsibility n freedom of https://t.co/LHXXpG78C3 cn they stop #kaala release n Karnataka in retaliation.i sincerely hope the Karnataka film chamber and fellow brothers resolve this issue.we all r Indians https://t.co/VdsL1fQOXwâ€” Vishal (@VishalKOfficial) May 30, 2018
Having announced his political entry in Tamil Nadu last year, Rajinikanth appears to be in a tight spot now.
Rajinikanth was caught in a similar spot in 2008 before the release of his film Kuselan. Participating in the hunger strike for the Hoggenakal water sharing dispute called for by the Nadigar Sangam, an aggressive Rajini made strong remarks against the ruling class in Karnataka. His â€śkick themâ€ť comment did not sit well with the Kannadigas who were up in arms against the actor, demanding an apology.
He later apologised for his remarks.
With the Tamil Nadu electorate watching, however, it remains to be seen how the politician handles demands for an apology this time around.