Tamil filmdom stands divided over support to UPA

Chennai, April 19 The Tamil film industry stands divided over support to political parties, with the plight of the Sri Lankan Tamils becoming an emotive issue for the Lok Sabha polls.

Sunday, April 19, 2009 | 5:11:28 PM IST (+05:30 GMT)
 0 Comments | 645 Views | Copyright: IANS

Chennai, April 19 (IANS) The Tamil film industry stands divided over support to political parties, with the plight of the Sri Lankan Tamils becoming an emotive issue for the Lok Sabha polls.

Though identified as an ardent admirer of Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, president of the Tamil Film Directors' Association Bharati Raja Sunday said decision on whom to support during the elections will be decided April 23.

'Our body and the entire Tamil film industry will decide which political outfit should receive our support April 23. If Congress President Sonia Gandhi fails to stop Sri Lanka's relentless military push against innocent Tamils there, we will hold a protest rally later,' Raja said.

'Political parties here should not forget that the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) coalition bagged all the 40 seats (from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry) only due to a belief that the sufferings of our brethren in Sri Lanka would end through their efforts. Since it has not happened, we may be forced to do a rethink,' Raja added.

Actor-turned-politician Sarath Kumar, and head of the South Indian Artistes' Association encompassing all the actors, has already decided to side with Bharatiya Janata Party.

Actor Karthick is also part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.

Both are whipping up sentiments against the DMK-Congress combine during well attended meetings all over Tamil Nadu.

A sizeable section of the Tamil film industry is peeved over the detention of director Seeman under the National Security Act over the Lankan Tamil issue.

Thespians Kamal Haasan and Rajnikanth, however, continue to remain apolitical.

Nevertheless, the main opposition front led by AIADMK boss Jayalalitha is unlikely to benefit from the tangle due to her opposition to the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

However, all political groupings are attempting to garner support of the masses expressing solidarity to the Tamil ethnic minority in Sri Lanka.

Karunanidhi has demanded severing all ties with Sri Lanka while PMK and MDMK - both open suppoters of the LTTE, are in the AIADMK-led front.

Tamil film industry depends on the overseas market controlled by Lankan Tamil emigres for roughly 15 percent of its annual turnover of approximately Rs.50 billion.

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