Saturday, November 01, 2008

Ajith, Vijay and Kamal raise voices

November 01, 2008

The all day fast on behalf of Sri Lankan Tamils by Tamil actors is in full swing as we report this. Several noted actors and stars turned up in black to signify their presence in the protest. Rajini arrived but did not have a badge pinned on him; someone quickly found one and pinned it on him. As we upload this new s, Rajini is still waiting to speak.
Rajini & Kamal

Radha Ravi extolled the stars for turning up in full even though many were not even in Tamil Nadu, busy with shooting schedules. He said Trisha, Nayanthara, Vikram and many others had to come a long way to attend the fast.

Ajith, dressed in black, looked weary, and even bored. He sat with his head in his hands, often looking around vacantly. Kamal was like a rock, betraying nothing. Rajini was his easy self, smiling occasionally, even agreeing with some speakers visibly by nodding his head. Vijay looked partly interested, and sat very quietly, with his arms folded – which is typical for him in functions. Vikram was comfortable, and was seen in a cap.

Radha Ravi broke into a fiery speech a bout why holding a fast in Chennai is equally important and effective as one in Rameshwaram. He also chided the government for rapping the Tamil cinema fraternity for what had been said over the Sri Lankan issue. His argument was: do we actors and cinema people not know politics? Was not MGR an actor? Is not Karunanidhi a scriptwriter? In other words, he was saying that the cinema fraternity knows the complexity of the issue at hand and will not speak out irresponsibly or naively. He finished by inviting Ajith to address the gathering.

After being received with a tremendous applause, Ajith said a few strong words. He began with the ‘Udal mannukku, uyir Thamizhukku’ which seemed to have a great effect on everyone. He also said that not explicitly stating one’s thoughts did not mean that one does not care about a particular issue.

He was as concerned about the welfare of Tamils as anyone. He also had a go at a few publications that carried false reports about him and requested them to not mix cinema with other issues.

Right after Ajith, Vijay was welcomed with another rousing applause. Citing that the struggling Tamils of Sri Lanka had now been for years without the basic necessities of life and that the film fraternity was now showing their solidarity by observing this fast. He made a call to all his fans and people who cared about their struggling brothers to send petitions to the Prime Minister of India demanding a solution to the issue. He hoped that the number of petitions would not fall short of a crore.

Then, it was Kamal’s turn. He chose to differ from Radha Ravi’s thought that emotions should be kept in check while raising an issue. He said that if the issue was one that really hurt us deeply, then emotions would invariably flow. It is because of this that two fellow directors had to wear a crown of thorns and go jail. But now, they have returned to a reception of garlands. He also said that the response and protests to the struggles of Tamils must not be seen as a regional one and that he would raise his voice wherever people were in trouble.

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