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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Kollywood, Political Playground

Tamil tinsel world’s association with politics has early origins. Film star MGR became the chief minister of Tamil Nadu four years before Ronald Reagan could become the President of United States. With such star-studded political scenario, the ruling DMK’s stranglehold over Kollywood is all set to become a poll plank in the upcoming Assembly elections if recent rhetoric of AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa and that of DMDK chief Vijayakanth are any indication. In the build-up to the 2011 Assembly elections, the role of chief minister M. Karunanidhi’s family members in Kollywood has become a talking point. While speaking at the Madurai rally of her party, AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa took up the cause of two leading young heroes of Tamil film world in a bid to attract the mass fan following of the stars. “A leading actor who refused to perform at functions organized by the DMK government free of cost was called to Karunanidhi’s house and was scolded. Another popular actor who expressed his political ambitions was compelled to act in films produced by chief minister’s family members,” said the former chief minister at the Madurai rally of her party on October 18. The opposition leader also alleged that the popular actors are being intimidated by the chief minister’s family. “It has become the work of Karunanidhi’s family members to turn heroes into zeroes and to turn zeroes in the family into heroes,” she added. DMDK chief Vijayakanth who has made it clear that defeating the DMK in 2011 polls is his sole aim has also lashed out at the reported influence of the ruling DMK on Tamil cinema. “The cinema theatre owners are asked to toe the line…..why should the cinema theatre owners be afraid….how many cinema theatre licences will they cancel….the owners should stand up and say that they won’t obey,” advised Vijayakanth at a function in his party headquarters. The influence of the ruling DMK’s first family in Kollywood will be one poll issue according to insiders in the AIADMK and the DMDK. Whatever be the alignment of political forces during polls, Jayalalithaa and Vijayakanth have already taken the political battle to Kollywood.

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