Where are the Mohanlal’s of Kannada cinema?

Where are the Mohanlal’s of Kannada cinema?
Where are the Mohanlal’s of Kannada cinema?
Written by:

Eshwari Kolluri

When there are controversies that involve taking positions on women and their freedoms many influential people, especially popular ones shy away from taking a public stand.

Malayalam actor Mohanlal’s unequivocal defence of the freedom of lovers to express their affection in public comes as a breath of fresh air. It also makes one wonder how film personalities elsewhere have handled similar controversies whether they have taken a stand on the burning social issues of their times.

In an eloquently written piece on his blog, Mohanlal says that overhearing someone wonder aloud what “Lalettan” (etaan is a respectful way to address an older person) would think about the issue prompted Mohanlal to say: “But the expectations from him and any others who might be out there make me feel more responsible while sharing my thoughts.”

So how has the Kannada film industry responded when it comes to women in the real world?

The Kannada film industry has had its share of controversies that involve women, especially ones in which women actors have been a target. Male actors, in contrast, have found support in their fans.


Ramya has been controversies’ favorite child. Being the number one actress in the industry comes with a price. But she is among those actresses who stood up for herself in the male-dominated industry. Starting with her parentage, to her refusal to put up with non sense, Ramya is well known, but her battles have usually been fought single-handedly. She once slammed a TV 9 for spreading false when a reporter went to interview her. The channel could not stop the live telecast, and was forced to carry her comments.

Aindrita Ray

Aindrita was another actor who was caught in a similar controversy. During the making of her film ‘Nooru Janmaku’, the director of the film Nagathihalli Chandrashekhar had allegedly slapped the actress in December 2009. Many had taken the director’s side as he was senior to the industry, and had rubbished her allegations against him. Some days after the incident occurred, the Artists Association President Ambarish and Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce President Dr. Jayamala mediated and brought about a resolution between the two. Jayamala reportedly reprimanded the director for slapping the actress.


In September 2011, Darshan’s wife Vijayalakshmi accused him of beating her and burning her with cigarette butts. He even allegedly threatened her at gun point. But even though the abuse was visible, not many came to the rescue of his wife. His fans took to the streets and surrounded the police station, demanding his release after he was arrested. The film producers association went and imposed a ban on actress Nikita Thukral of allegedly creating a rift between the couple. This is what a representative of the body told a news channel: “Everyone is aware of her alleged role in creating problems for Vijayalakshmi. We do not want heroines who create problems between heroes and their wives.” The stalwarts of the film industry requested media to stay out of it and finally buried the hatchet between the husband and wife duo.


Vijay has reportedly filed for divorce in January 2013 because his wife Nagarathna had misbehaved with his parents. There had been speculation that Vijay had an extra marital relationship with an actress. In all of this, his fans stormed to the court and extended their support to the actor. If there was another woman in Vijay’s life, the woman was to be blame. The hero, of course, can do no wrong.

This is just a short list. Many women in Sandalwood have been victims of different kind of controversies – Shruthi, Amulya and Ragini to name some. And most of them have received criticism more than support.

Whilst all the controversies what we can’t stop observing is how women fight their own here. Where are our superstars when it comes to the matter of female actors? Will our reel life heroes every become real life heroes?

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