Sunday, Oct 13, 2002
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By Radha Venkatesan and S. Dorairaj
Cine artists at a meeting organised on the Cauvery issue at Neyveli on Saturday. Photo: S. R. Raghunathan
As a huge crowd of artists including the Actors Association president, Vijaykant, and the DMK-affiliated star, R. Sarathkumar, remained mute spectators, Mr. Bharatiraaja, who is the struggle committee chief, said Mr. Ranjikant, who had kept away from the Neyveli stir, ``showed his true colours".
Giving a clarion call to Tamils to save their land, even if they could not secure Cauvery water, he said, ``we can tolerate enemies but not traitors.'' In a thinly-veiled reference to Mr. Rajnikant's possible entry into politics, Mr. Bharatiraaja said the Tamils would be hospitable to outsiders but should not be gullible to gift away their land.
Mr. Rajnikant's fast programme in Chennai tomorrow, to press Karnataka for releasing Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu, was only aimed at creating a divide in the Tamil film industry, he charged, addressing a meeting of film personalities at the NLC helipad tonight, after a five-member delegation handed over a memorandum to the NLC Chairman and Managing Director, S. Jayaraman, demanding that power supply to Karnataka be immediately stopped.
Mr. Bharatirajaa did not spare the DMK-affiliated stars, Mr. Sarathkumar and Napolean too, saying they should not bring political colour to the film industry. Even while praising the Chief Minister and AIADMK general secretary, Jayalalithaa, for having provided 100 buses at her personal expense for the rally, Mr. Bharatiraaja took a veiled dig at the DMK president, M. Karunanidhi, saying he might distort his statement on the Cauvery issue.
The film stars' stir, touted as the Tamil filmdom's show of solidarity, bared their dissensions rather than unity. Earlier, before presenting the memorandum, the DMK and AIADMK-affiliated stars hailed each other's leaders, causing a flutter. Politicisation of the industry was on full display as Mr. Sarathkumar and Mr. Napolean praised Mr. Karunanidhi for fighting Tamil Nadu's cause on the Cauvery issue, whether he was in power or not, and the AIADMK actors, S.S. Chandran and Mansoor Ali Khan, commending Ms. Jayalalithaa for having offered full support for the rally.
Irked at this show of political loyalty on a film forum, Mr. Vijaykant said film actors with political affiliations should not hold positions in cine associations.
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