Bengaluru: Karnataka chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Tuesday shifted the responsibility of releasing Tamil actor Rajinikanth’s latest movie, Kaala, on its makers and distributors, asking them not to release the movie in Karnataka, considering the sensitive situation.
His statements came even after the Karnataka high court asked the state government to provide security to theatres screening the film. The court heard the case after pro-Kannada groups demanded that the movie not be released in the state over remarks by Rajinikanth about the contentious Cauvery river water sharing issue between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Stating that it was the government’s duty to follow the court orders to provide security to centres screening the film, Kumaraswamy said, “in my personal opinion as a Kannadiga, in such situation where there is opposition, it is ideal if they will not release the movie."
Kumaraswamy, who hails from the movie industry himself, said that there were many instances of Kannada movies being discriminated in the neighbouring state.
“As a government we will take all necessary measures, but if some organisations protest and because of this people don’t turn up, under such circumstances and when they don’t allow our movies to be released, I feel they should not release the movie," Kumaraswamy said.
The hardened stance of the chief minister comes a day after he met with veteran Tamil actor, Kamal Haasan, who offered to help bridge any differences between the two southern states, including in the Cauvery river water issue.
The Cauvery river water issue, that has for generations defined relations between the two states, has taken another turn with the formation of the contentious Cauvery Management Authority (CMA), a body set up to implement the tribunal’s 2007 order on water sharing. This move has been vehemently opposed by Karnataka, one of the two main stakeholders in the dispute.
Kumaraswamy said that the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC) has asked the government not to give permission for the release of the Tamil film.
“If they forcefully release the movie they will have to face the consequences. I am not saying this as a chief minister. However, personally, speaking as a Kannadiga, I will say that considering the situation in the state, the makers should themselves not release the movie," he said.