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The Great T-T Tamasha!

January 21, 2010

Before you begin to consider various possibilities of what T-T stands for, allow me to address your confusion. The T-T match I am talking is about two of the biggest ‘Ts which were at loggerheads for most part of December,2009. Telangana and Telugu Film Industry a.k.a Tollywood. The post is about the chronology of events which began from November 28th, 2009 and the ripple effect it created in the Telugu Film Industry. Read on…

November 28th: K.Chandrasekhar Rao begins his fast in Karimnagar. He’s arrested the same night.

December 3rd: Government gives permission to shift KCR to NIIMS, Hyderabad. Note that KCR is diabetic.

December 7th: The Joint Action Committee demands Film Fraternity to take a stand on Telangana.

Decemeber 9th: Centre blinks. Chidambaram says, State Government will introduce a bill on Telangana.

December 12th: Vishnvardhan-Ileana’s ‘Saleem’ and Genelia’s ‘Katha’ release across the state amidst loads of confusion as a bandh had been declared in ‘Andhra’ region.

December 16th: 1. Continuous protests in Andhra and Rayalaseema region force producers of ‘Adhurs’ to postpone the film. The actual date of release was December 18th.

2. Chiranjeevi and Mohan Babu decide to support ‘United Andhra Pradesh’.

December 22nd: Telangana activists disrupt Manchu Manoj’s film shooting in Hyderabad. Focus shifts to Telugu Film Industry

Decemeber 23rd: Allu Arjun’s ‘Varudu’ film shooting disrupted near Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad

Decemeber 24th: A set worth Rs.1.5 crore is set on fire, disrupt Mahesh Babu’s film shooting in Vikarabad.

December 26th:Jr.NTR’s ‘Brindavanam’ shooting disrupted  in Hyderabad.

December 27th: TRS and Telangana activists attack ‘Geetha Arts’ office. Note that Telangana JAC and students had decided to boycott Chiranjeevi, Pawan, Allu Arjun and Ram Charan’s films in future.

Arya-2 and Magadheera were stopped from being screened in several cinema halls across Telangana region.

December 31st: Chief Minister, K.Rosaiah condemns attacks on Film Industries. Also reveals that Telugu film industry is contemplating to shift the base to Chennai.

2010-

Janauary 4th: Telangana activists target Rana’s ‘Leader’ shooting in Ramagundam. On the same day a mob destroys bottles in Pepsi Co. godowns in Warangal demanding that Pepsi should remove Ram Charan and Allu Arjun as their brand ambassadors.

January 6th: JAC once again demands Film Industry to take a stand on Telangana.

Note that Rana’ ‘Leader’ , Nagarjuna’s ‘Kedi’ have been postponed. The release of ‘Adhurs’, ‘Namo Venkatesa’, ‘Shambo Shiva Shambo’ is still not clear.

January 11th: Kavitha, KCR’s daughter opposes release of ‘Adhurs’

January 12th: Film Fraternity appeals to JACs not to disrupt film screenings as they are not  against anyone.

January 13th: ‘Adhurs’ releases across the state. Police keep a vigil outside Cinema Halls. Screening disrupted in some places.

It is still not clear when Shekar Kammula’s ‘Leader’ is going to release. Several other big-budget films have either been postponed or put on hold temporarily because of the ongoing protests. Nagarjuna’s new film ‘Kedi’ is gearing up for release on February 12th. That’s a full one month after its earlier scheduled date. People in Andhra Pradesh might be aware that February and March are generally avoided when it comes to big releases due to exams and other things which keeps students and families pre-occupied. The Telangana scare this Sankranthi had almost cost the film industry a whopping Rs.120 crores which was at stake with three big releases.

It’s not my intention to criticise the struggle for Telangana. The people of Telangana have the constitutional right to fight for something if they believe it is right. However, the baffling thing is the tactics used by Telangana activists and Telangana JAC to spread a sort of chaos across the state.  Telugu Film Industry has a history of more than 75 years and in these 75 years, Cinema has been highly successful in becoming a part of our lives. We have fallen in love with cinema so much that we take it heart when our favourite hero’s film flops or go berserk and celebrate when it’s a blockbuster. The Sankranthi season has always been a great time to watch big-budget films and almost every year, there has been atleast one film which went on to become a big hit. The sudden wave of protests which erupted in various parts of Andhra Pradesh in support of both Telangana and United Andhra Pradesh have taken a huge toll on the film industry. Certain film actors have issued statements which political overtones and others have been brought to limelight due to their political party allegiance. According to an estimation, 92% of those working in film industry are either on monthly salaries or daily wages. Around 50-60 films are usually in their shooting schedules at any given point of time. And throughout December and early January, the number of film shootings had dropped to a near zero level. The disruption of film shootings was described as the least important of things to be bothered about. However, I beg to differ. Why? Because:-

1. The purpose of our lives is to live and earn our livelihood. You cannot rub your philosophy about what’s important and what’s not on others.

2. Don’t forget that there’s a huge section of population whose lives are dependent on  Film Industry. Eg: Theatre Owners, Distributors, people who work in and around Cinema Halls etc.

3. Actors, Directors and Producers are just a part of film industry. Don’t forget that people are also stakeholders in this process.

4. I respect the sentiments of people in Telangana and why they think Telangana is important to them, however I don’t understand the logic behind magnifying every small thing related to depiction of Telangana in Telugu Films. Everything that you find offensive has been in existence for decades. What happened to your conscience back then? Why protest against it only now?

5. Telugu Film Industry has stopped making films which impact our lives. Even if such films are made, they are few and far between. So, everything that’s shown on screen is just for the sake of entertainment. If you can’t laugh at a joke, then I will conclude that your sense of humour is different than what’s being shown on screen.

6. While, it maybe true that there’s a lot of bias in the industry based on what region you are from, the film industry is alone not responsible for everything. It also means, you haven’t tried enough and gave up without reaching your goals. This frustration makes you blame others but then it’s not pragmatic.

7. A lot of you have raised your voice against the domination of people from Andhra in Film Fraternity. It’s not a phenomenon which has come up in the last few years. And if you have question everything, then you have to question everything and everything you have believed, loved and respected all these years.

There are several things which will be debated upon and probably we won’t reach a consensus. What’s more important at this point of time is a belief that we are responsible for our own lives. We should stand up for our rights but at the same time blaming others is probably not the right thing to do. The great Telangana-Telugu Film Industry has taken an ugly turn and probably has gone for too long. It’s a match, a Tamasha which shouldn’t have happened in the first place.  If you have a grudge against someone, maybe you should have a face to face conversation.  Let peace prevail. Leave Cinema alone. Let me laugh, let me cry, let me cheer, let me write. Let me live, once again.

Yours Truly,

Hemanth

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 22, 2010 11:06 am

    Well said Hemanth. Hope they don’t disrupt any more films.

  2. peepu permalink
    February 5, 2010 11:03 am

    your post are not refreshing these days(read boring,shitty,writing for the sake of heck,..)

    I used to like your posts on films (not the ones like worst of tollywood)

    I hope a bitsian like you wont become a dumbass out there ( please preserve your mind)

    Sorry if I offend you …. 🙂
    hoping for more serious posts on films

  3. peepu permalink
    February 5, 2010 11:07 am

    And one more thing ..
    .
    Please dont rate movies on numbers (123 telugu)

    please .. I request…

    no not from someone like you…

    I think your software job has made u a dumbo…

  4. Sri Nivas permalink
    February 5, 2010 1:47 pm

    Excellent post Hemanth!
    Quite realistic and I totally agree with you..
    “Leave Cinema alone. Let me laugh, let me cry, let me cheer, let me write. Let me live, once again.”
    Looking forward for ur next post 🙂

  5. balu permalink
    April 22, 2010 5:43 pm

    “The purpose of our lives is to live and earn our livelihood. ***You cannot rub your philosophy about what’s important*** and what’s not on others….”

    “….She (Ileana) should be embarrassed and if she isn’t, then there’s something wrong with her”

    AHEM 🙂

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