For the past one year or so, Kollywood has been witnessing this and it is high time the film fraternity put their differences of opinion aside and got together to sort it out before things go out of hand. Last January, Kamal Haasan had a tough time with the Tamil Nadu state government banning his Vishwaroopam after protests from some Muslim groups that the film contained content that derogated their religion. After a lot of struggle, the actor-director managed to get the film released and it went on to become a huge hit. The same year, another bankable star in Kollywood, Vijay, also faced a similar situation but this time the theatre owners refused to screen ‘Thalaivaa’ for reasons that were never disclosed openly till now.
And it did not stop here because every now and then fringe groups, spearheaded by people who are extremely self-centred and seeking publicity try to stall the release of a film or even go to the extent of unleashing violence to stall the screening. The latest movie to have been caught in this quagmire is Santosh Sivan’s Inam. Though there are no highly objectionable content in the movie, the film’s distributor, director Lingusamy did agree to chop off a few scenes and mute a couple of dialogues so that the film could continue its run at the box office. But sadly, the situation went out of control for Lingusamy as some anti-social elements stopped the progress of his upcoming directorial, Anjaan’s shooting in Mumbai that he was forced to remove Inam from all the theatres screening it.
And now, director Yuvaraj Dayalan and actor Vadivelu are facing the wrath of another group that claims Jagajala Pujabala Thenaliraman comprises scenes that derogate King Krishnadevarayar and are threatening the filmmakers with dire consequences if they release the movie. Bogged down by such threats of protests, the director has agreed to screen the film to the protestors before its release. What is surprising is that the Censor Board has certified this film with a ‘U’ certificate which indicates that there are no objectionable content in it.
If fringe groups take the film industry under their control by protesting according to their whims and fancies to meet their selfish goals, then what is the point in having a censor board that certifies a film prior to its release? Is Kollywood getting into the control of fringe groups that are going to control them hitherto? In that case, it is high time the film industry unites to put these people where they belong to instead of allowing them to spread their wings far and wide. Interestingly, this situation seems to be limited to the Tamil film industry as such protests in other films industries are not as common as this!