Films

Can we have the movies back, please!

The current status quo over the screening of Hindi films is not only affecting the distributors, it is also affecting regular cine-goers who I am sure are missing out on their daily dose of entertainment.

One of the spokesperson said that this is ?the last opportunity to save the language (Kannada)? (TOI, Nov 24). Last opportunity? That sounds a little too much, really. I understand people’s concern regarding their language, but surely there is a better way to ensure this than to target another language? That too, an Indian one, the last time I checked.

I thought entertainment is entertainment, notwithstanding the language. Shouldn’t I as a viewer have the right to decide what movie I want to watch and in what language? Why should a group of activists decide for me? This takes away my freedom to watch what I want, when I want.

If I want to enjoy a Hindi movie, I shouldn’t have to wait for 7 weeks just because someone else thinks that Kannada is suffering. I am all for preservation of culture and language, but this is surely not the way to propagating a culture!

And isn’t Hindi is an Indian language? Why is it being made out to be some foreign language!

From a 3 week moratorium, the group is now demanding a 7-week moratorium. Unfortunately, not only will audiences miss out on the latest movies, they will most probably watch them on pirated CDs.

I can’t imagine something like this happening in Mumbai. It’s like people saying only Marathi movies can be released in Mumbai. All others can follow. Weeks later!

I really think that serious measures should be taken to promote Kannada in whatever way possible ? have more culture events, hold plays, street festivals. But targeting Hindi is only going to make matters worse. And I can’t see it solving the purpose either.

Are people, who don’t go for Kannada movies, going to rush to watch them because there is nothing else available? I seriously doubt it.

All the ?top film? personalities behind this should wake up and smell the coffee. And let us enjoy our daily entertainment, please! In whatever language we choose.

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34 Comments

  1. Narayan says

    “Putting blame on someone else to hide your inherent faults” has always been the name of the game for the kannada film industry. The easiest way to catch attention is to bring “language” into the equation. The situation will never improve as long as Dr.Raj’s family and his cronies are around.

  2. 100% agree, Anita! I can barely conceal my disgust. And I’m not even in Bangalore! I think these people can’t think beyond their runny noses…the fallout of this on the Kannada film industry will be even worse! 🙂

  3. Well This has been perennial issue with almost all regional languages (except Telugu/Tamil/Malayalam/Bengali) ..the directors in Marathi were more concerned about getting Monies from State Govt then giving a really good movie with strong storyline and brilliant performances. result Marathi Movies lost audience in last decade. There has been good experiments lately and people have started to support good movies. the only solution is making competative product rather than whining about competition .

    Passing Shot: the formulized routine Hindi Movies definitely need to be shown no mercy .But its upto people to pick the grain and throw the chaff…

  4. yes we are in a democratic country, where anyone can choose to live the way the want to live. Only in South India have i been made to realize that Hindi is a foreign language…yes it would never happen in Mumbai or Anywhere else in the North part of the country. I cant ever imagine someone attempting this in Gujarat coz the Gujarati cinema is not doing well. Its silly. Language and culture also form a part of the Darwin’s theory, nothing can be preserved forcibly. It loses its charm. Kannada has. And in a place like bangalore where hardly a 40% of the population can read and understand kannada, how fair is it to ForceFeed the language? It wont work.

  5. Narayan says

    Lavannya,

    You are also confusing the matter. This is not a language issue. Nobody is forcefeeding kannada, the morons want you to see their awful movies.

    By the way alanguage never loses its charm. Regarding “Only in South India have i been made to realize that Hindi is a foreign language…”

    Well the problem may be on your side… “be a roman in rome”

  6. This is downright obnoxious… How can somebody else choose what you have to see… I can only see the piracy business booming if this preposterous step is not revoked… Totally agree with you Anita!

  7. “the last opportunity to save the language”

    Interesting. I havent read the article on ToI but I guess that is as shallow as any other ToI stuff.

    To get a little deeper into the drama, the real issue here has nothing to do with the language, saving it or glorifying it or whatsoever.

    Just a bunch of stupid people who, unfortunately have gathered some muscle(like political parties) are working just to keep their self-interests. Language is just a misused tool(like it happens with religion). I can tell without doubts that for many(not all) of the people involved, language is the last thing that matters.

    Kannada film and tv industry has a long history of political control and muscle flexing of this kind which we would rather not get into here. Sadly the same problem is known to have killed quite a few real enterprising talents in the industry…

  8. hi my first time on your blog and totally agree with you,one should have the freedom to decide for oneself and not having someone else’s decisions being forced down ur throat:)) check out my blog

  9. There a quote by Kannada actor Ambarish in TOI today where he says that “outside people who have moved to Bangalore for a livelihood should encourage kannada and watch kannada movies” or something similar. this is a silly statement. I doubt if ppl will watch kannada movies if hindi movies are not released. these days i watch vcds of the latest hindi movies at home,…and i’m sure the rest of bangalore does the same. is this promoting kannada or the pirated vcd industry???

  10. There’s more to this issue than what you hear or read about it. The reason for this ban has many commercial factors which nobody wants to discus openly.

    1.Many Kannada movies which are running successfully in prime theatres are often booted out to make way for a new Sharukh or a Cheeranjevi starrer. This is proving to be too costly for the local producers. The contention of the Kannada producers is that they cannot match the muscle or the money power of a Yash Chopra or a Rama Naidu to make the theatre owners stick on to Kannada one.

    2. There are some commercial zones in the city like Majestic, Shivajinagar, Market,where the mobility of people is more and hence the viewership is more. Here the exhibitors are asking for more theatres for non kannada movies which is not agreeable for the local film industry.

    3.In all other non kannada states only 2 prints of a kannada movie is allowed whereas in Karnataka 16 prints were allowed and now brought down to 6 prints…arent the people of Karnataka considerate enough?

    4. If you cannot encourage Kannada in Karnataka will you encourage this language in Maharashtra or in Bihar?

    5. Yeah, as most of you say you cannot forcefeed a language and make it lose its charm, agreed…but the exhibitors were always booting out good kannada movies after one week of show and thus prevented potential viewership. The first week (most of the times) is for front benches and by the time the family crowd stepped into the theatre the movies were changed….what do you expect the producer to do? Retire and take up a new profession?

    6. Piracy will eat off the charm of a new movie..true but you think it will harm the movie commercially?? I dont think any of the English movies would have made business if this were to be true…

    7. The rule of nature: Survive first and excel later…this needs to be implemented on all the dying film industry be it Marathi or Odiya or Bihari or any other language for that matter.

    8. If you think its undemocratic to have such rules..why do we need reservation?? To make all sections of the society equal in socio – economic conditions?? You might accept the same for this debate as well..

    I know most of you will brand me as a fanatic but I personally know many in the industry who are struggling because of the politics played here. And all these leaders or heroes who have taken up the matter, they are no saints and are only doing it for their own mileage. By looking at these front runners dont conclude that this agitation is politically motivated..there are hundreds of them standing in the shadows, suffering. This agitation is for their survival….

  11. you surely are a south indian narayanan who doenst like hindi langauge!!

    if its not about propogating kannada as a language dearie..then why are all the bulletin and advertising boards in english on the main roads defa ced?????

  12. i appreciate your objective outlook sudarshan… i actually spent all this time reading your arguement. But i tell you… reservation, though i completely dont agree with it, has a lot to do with politics and equality in the social context. Movies are primarily about entertainment. You cant bann that!! Neways i hope you are right and things happen only for the good. 🙂

  13. doesnt matter says

    I dont understand….if a Kannada movie is ‘good’ (or should I say doing good..in the box office), which theater will want to chuck it for a Hindi movie? Do Hindi movie tickets cost more?

    It’s not about reservation or language. It is lack of quality in a product (Kannada movies) and the customer not wanting to buy the product anymore.

    But in true pseudo-patriotic style, everyone seems to be suddenly interested in forcing Kannada movies down someone’s throat rather than analysing how to make better movies.

    There may be people suffering in the shadows (I can give u lot of people who fall under that category)…but the failure on the part of the film industry to act and think realistically is an insult to any thinking man’s intelligence. Dharnas and protests can never be a solution and that is what WE (meaning, anti-protesters, not anti-kannada) people are trying to say…

  14. Narayan says

    Lavannya

    Again i repeat this has nothing to do with language. Well if your brain is as smart as your spelling i cant help it.

    “you surely are a south indian narayanan who doenst like hindi langauge”

    who said anything about not liking hindi

    and i am a south indian narayanan and am proud of it.

    “if its not about propogating kannada as a language dearie..then why are all the bulletin and advertising boards in english on the main roads defa ced?????”

    hmm.. that was done by the kannada chaluvali people and nobody approves of it and them anyway.

  15. Lavannya, thanks..

    Reservation is more of a system than caste, be it social or economical, it still is a system and is implemented to bring parity.

    This agitation is not for a ban. This is for a bargain and both parties know that a compromise will be reached. The exhibitors are saying 16 prints and immediate release whereas the Kannada producers are saying 6 prints and 6 weeks moratorium. These are the two extreme ends of the deal and definitely a compromise will soon be reached which is good for the cosmopolitan outlook of Bangalore as well as the dying Kannada film industry.

    Doesn’t matter, I hope this does matter:

    1. Hindi movie tickets does cost more.

    2. How many Kannada movies have you seen to vehemently say that they are not good?

    3. Do you think that the agitators are not aware that they cant force you into Kannada film playing theatres? Not all are stupid as you think. You don’t seem to understand the gravity of the problem. Here, nobody’s under a false impression of making money by deferment. They are preventing a problem that’s all.

    4. Any agitation needs a face or a leader….and unless you do it in public will it have any impact? Don’t tell me you want the producers to observe satyagraha at their residence! The problem is nobody’s thinking realistically how to prevent the industry from dying. Its very easy to make all sorts of remarks from afar. If it happens in your working environment you would know. The right to live is everybody’s birth right and everybody will fight for their survival, and whatever these people are doing is no better.

    5. I am neither complimenting these guys for turning violent nor these jokers for making stupid comments on media. This debate was necessary but the way they are conducting it wasn’t….

    And finally, Anita, I know its not the best way to make an entry into your blog by stirring up all sorts of debates

  16. Muthiah says

    Hi Anita,

    I agree that ppl have to be more sensible and think rationally.. There are nearly 100 theaters in blore.

    Do they produce 100 movies or atleast 25 movies for theaters to show ?

    If today it is cinema tomorrow it can be ur cable guy saying that I have Kanada channel and u must watch that only in prime time…

    Oh God this not the way u want human to live..

    Solution to save the film industry can be

    1)To produce quality movies

    2)Take a resolution that two shows in day will be for kanada movies and other two shows will be for the non kanada movies.

    3)Make sure that Kanada movies are not sold hot cakes in VCD.

    I hope ppl come with some sensible solution than protesting and making huge noise…

    Everyone have a say bcos we live in democratic country but that freedom can’t affect other’s freedom…

    Keep posting articles…

    muthiah

  17. I am really not sure where I stand here, but I just want to jump in quick and say that the issue is really not about Hindi being branded foreign. These guys have got problems with Tamil and telugu movies too! The problem is an unfortunate offshoot of the cosmopolitan nature of Bangalore.

    There are just not enough Kannada speaking people out there in Bangalore to sustain a film industry. I know from my stint at REC Nagpur that of the eight seats for Karnataka only two were Kannadigas, the rest were tamilains, telugu speaking or malayalis but we were all Bangaloreans!

    I guess this is the fact that made the Kannada Chaluvali activists pick up their cudgels and ask for equal representation on sign boards, pretty similar to what the Shiv Sena started in Mumbai in the 70s and 80s only not so rabid. So there, Mumbai is not such a holy cow either.

    Almost half the people in Bangalore would opt to go watch a Tamil, Telugu, Hindi or English movie any day. I think the producers are fighting a losing battle here.

    Perhaps they would be better off concentrating on territories like the North Karnataka region than trying to corner a market that is only shrinking.

    btw, Anita, do you need help upgrading your blog? I can’t help imagine the amount of comment spam you must be having to tackle 😉

  18. Huh.. Lots of debate :).. I dont know the kannada language.. Though, I feel they have the right to protect their language.. But this is not the way they have to choose! Everyone will love their mother tongue.. so there is not point in branding! Why dont all indians come together without more divisions.. it all ends up with who is better!! This will never end!!

  19. To emulate television might be the best way to solve the problem here, the reason for the success of cable tv:

    “Every language has a dedicated channel” – Similarly if you have dedicated theatres for each language in each commercial area, the problem can be solved…..but the exhibitors are against such rules!

  20. What is happening is crap !!!

    I have only one thing to say to the kannada film industry – Make good movies and people will watch and yeah stop all this nonsense …

  21. Hi,

    glad to see your blog being updated. Thought I was late for this debate. Anyways, I couldnt resist myself. Took me 20 mins to write this.. :).

    >>The current status quo over the screening of Hindi films is not only affecting the distributors, it is also affecting >>regular cine-goers who I am sure are missing out on their daily dose of entertainment.

    Yes.. Rich Distributers who rotate black money and the upper class cinie goers who are most affected. But if it is a free movie zone, the poor in the industry are most affected. I am tempted to ask, whats wrong ???

    >>One of the spokesperson said that this is “the last opportunity to save the language (Kannada)” (TOI, Nov 24). Last >>opportunity? That sounds a little too much, really. I understand people’s concern regarding their language, but surely >>there is a better way to ensure this than to target another language? That too, an Indian one, the last time I checked.

    I think his (spokesman’s) observation is correct….But no one language is targeted. It is to protect the industry from closing down. I think their struggle is legitimate and waiting for a few weeks isnt going to cause great grievance.

    >>I thought entertainment is entertainment, notwithstanding the language. Shouldn’t I as a viewer have the right to decide >>what movie I want to watch and in what language? Why should a group of activists decide for me? This takes away my freedom >>to watch what I want, when I want.

    You have the right to decide what you want, when you want. but so does the other movie goers who want to watch a kannada movie but are blocked by theaters taking it off prematurely. I guess it is a fight between the theater owners and kannada movie business.

    >>If I want to enjoy a Hindi movie, I shouldn’t have to wait for 7 weeks just because someone else thinks that Kannada is >>suffering. I am all for preservation of culture and language, but this is surely not the way to propagating a culture!

    It is one of the ways and in my opinion this is not enough. Kannada must be vigourously promoted and used in daily life, lest kannada becomes like manipuri or mizo ??? (using english as its script).

    >>And isn’t Hindi is an Indian language? Why is it being made out to be some foreign language!

    It is. As much (and not more) like kannada, tamil, telugu, marathi. There is nothing wrong in giving extra patronage to kanadda, especially when it requires it. We (as a nation) cannot afford kanadda to be lost forever and thus erasing its linguistic and historic traditions to naught. This is a small price to pay. that is all.

    >>From a 3 week moratorium, the group is now demanding a 7-week moratorium. Unfortunately, not only will audiences miss out >>on the latest movies, they will most probably watch them on pirated CDs.

    You are right. But if someone choses to watch pirated cds. it is his/her decision. so who is losing ? Dawood and barath shah are losing a few crores. Thats ok.

    >>I can’t imagine something like this happening in Mumbai. It’s like people saying only Marathi movies can be released in >>Mumbai. All others can follow. Weeks later!

    Unfortunately north Indians have flooded mumbai to such an extent that they are political force by themselves. Marathi language has lost over its ground to hindi movies.

    >>I really think that serious measures should be taken to promote Kannada in whatever way possible – have more culture >>events, hold plays, street festivals. But targeting Hindi is only going to make matters worse. And I can’t see it solving >>the purpose either.

    plays are very much part of the scene. but majority are movie goers in india. you cant neglect that and say, have street plays.

    >>Are people, who don’t go for Kannada movies, going to rush to watch them because there is nothing else available? I >>seriously doubt it.

    I doubt it too. But one thing is clear. If this situation happens, a whole new generation would grow up in bangalore, without knowing any kanadda. Thats sad isnt it ?

    I completely endorse Sudarshan’s view and go one step further. There needs a serious re-vitalisation of kanadda language. We cannot have more instances of “languages lost”.

    >>>Just a bunch of stupid people who, unfortunately have gathered some muscle(like political parties) are working just to >>keep their self-interests. Language is just a misused tool(like it happens with religion). I can tell without doubts that >>for many(not all) of the people involved, language is the last thing that matters.

    Language is identity, language is livelyhood, language is prosperity and language is honour. If you donot understand this welcome to reality. Years back it was proven convincingly in the tamil resurgance movement against imposition of hindi. Today you have thousands of poets, lyricists, writers, publications, thinkers, commoners who feel proud of their culture and heritage and they claim their rightful place in tamil society. Hindi would have made life bollywood centric and disnfranchised a huge section of population.

    Infact I am thrilled that kannada movie industry is waking up to the perils of unbriddled accomodation. Others need to accomodate, learn kannda and not the other way around. Infact there should be stricter rule of 2 prints and parity restored among movies of other languages.

    >>I dont understand….if a Kannada movie is ‘good’ (or should I say doing good..in the box office), which theater will want >>to chuck it for a Hindi movie? Do Hindi movie tickets cost more?

    definitely. Hindi tickets go upwards of 100 rs. and 200 rs. Even if people want to watch a malashree movie, you cant do that in symphony or rex. This sort of non-sense is not tolerated in chennai, because the theatre owners believe in promoting tamil movies. There are lot of junk that gets produced in tamil too. But the audience decides when given an opportunity. Sudarshan was bang on target when he said it is a lobby. The only way to break that lobby is to break the backbone – the theatres.

    >>>But in true pseudo-patriotic style, everyone seems to be suddenly interested in forcing Kannada movies down someone’s >>throat rather than analysing how to make better movies.

    A theatre is a public sphere, not your private space. If you donot like to watch kannda movies.. dont watch. If you want to watch other movies, either wait patiently or go to the vcd route as many have already done so. Nothing wrong. no one I know of has died of not having watched a hindi movie, first day-first show.

    >>>>>I am really not sure where I stand here, but I just want to jump in quick and say that the issue is really not about >>>>>Hindi being branded foreign. These guys have got problems with Tamil and telugu movies too!

    You are right. The issue isnt. Donot mistake me, when i say for many of us. Hindi was alien, chapathi/puri was a sunday evening treat (and not staple food. Idli is). and unless beneficial to me, I would not learn. Langauage is identity and whoever tries to erase the identity of other has had to bite the dust.

    Now what is wrong with that ? So many north indians have lived in bangalore/mumbai for years togather. how many of them would

    know how to speak in kannda/marathi ? or even understand. This includes me too ? I am made too comfortable in my own language (though I conciously try to stick to kannda). Slowly the camel claims the whole tent. These folks demand other to adjust to them. This sort of non-sense does not happen in tamilnadu. Maybe the north Indians out there (sikhs, gujjarathis, marwaris) were from common stock. working people who trade, interract and live with the people of the land unlike the jetsetting IT crowd. For them learning a new language (tamil) means greater opportuinity to do business and they gladly did. They are proud Sikhs, gujarathis and marwaris. That is what is India. Punjab, Sindh, Gujarata, Maratha… and not just hindi, hindi and hindi.

    None of the tamil crowd is protesting. It is only the hindi speaking people who have a problem. One must ask why none of the tamil industry people are protesting ? Maybe they are in principle agreeing with the “Protect-your-language” theory.

    If hindi is the national language in India mainly because Delhi is the capital and most of north India speaks hindi. They have erased other dialects like hindusthani, urdu, bhojpuri totally making them branches of hindi. The same has happend to gujarati, marwari and marathi. Should it happen to kannada also ? Is it good for our country that everyone speaks one language and that language is hindi ? The answer is an emphatic no.

    India is multi-lingual and we should do more to protect preserve this culture. Part of it is encouraging cinema in all languages.

    Refugees from iran persecuted by turks came to India during medieval times. The local king sent an emissary to inquire about these people and find out what they wanted. The emissary came back with a bowl of milk, some sugar and a message. The message was simple. We will live in your land like sugar in milk. Having my own identity, sweatening the milk. These refugees were parsis and today no one calls them iranians. They are well accepted in India because, they decided to integrate. If I live in nagaland, the onus is on me to learn the local language and not the other way around. I cant say, I wont take any effort and the world has to adjust with me. That smacks of arrogance.

    We need to protect our linguistic heritage and not permit plain unbridilled competition. Free competition destroys a lot of lives. Darwin or not, I donot want this in my part of the world. I dont want hundreds of poor folks thrust into poverty because a few IT czars want to watch “Humara dil aapke papa ke paas hai”.

    Nobody I know of, has died of having to wait 3 weeks for this high quality movie.

    vasu

  22. jaggi says

    hai anitha

    what u people r saying ir wrong

    u should make sure to respect the place where ur and being in karnataka u need to support kannada

    firstly u need to learn kannada(if u dont know) then support kannada

    and u need to even educate people about kannada and karnataka

    THIS SHOULD B THE RULE

    “BE A KANNADIGA IN KARNATAKA”

    jaggi

  23. Paddy says

    One positive fallout of all this is that “outsiders” now know the existence of a language called Kannada. They spell it “Kannada” and not “Kannad”. Hurray!

    Another positive point is that the target of the whole agitation are not outsiders, but their attitudes towards Kannada. However, the situation could degenerate with innocent people ending up as targets. We all have a task at hand to prevent that from happening: live and let live. Don’t try to kill a culture/langauge by playing the number’s game.

  24. Sudhakar Prabhu says

    Only in South India have i been made to realize that Hindi is a foreign language…

    >> I am puzzled at this comment. A very narrow thinking indeed. I am basically from north and amazed that people here atleast try to speak in Hindi. Most of us from north cannot even speak a few words in kannada even after leaving here for years.

    Please do not divide and instead look from the positive angle. Apart from local languages, most of them do speak English and hence you shouldn’t have any communication issues.

    Just my 2 cents…

  25. prakash says

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  26. Prashant JS says

    Mr.All Non Kannada people who posted their coments on this issue (specially Lavnya and her freinds)

    The bigest mistakes we kannada people are doing that we only banning your HINDI and other movies ( Hindi is not my language since you dont have any respect about our language) but should ban peoples like you in entering Kannada land,

    How much dare you have in giving such comments about Kannada film ( although it is about films but since ‘Kannada’ word is their it’s about kannada language it’s self)

    We are not forcing you to see Kannada movies, Aree who likes to see onle slamakhan’s body and cabre dance of hiroens we will certainly not expect to see kannada movies of comapritively well made,

    My comments regarding this came late because I have seen it late

    expecting your comments

    Prashant JS

  27. You all non-kannadigas,
    Please don’t watch Kannada movies,don’t speak Kannada
    and don’t to anything related to Kannada.We will never force you to do that.
    But, before that leave Karnataka. Please first leave Karnataka. We want to see at least 90% Kannadigas employed in IT-NON IT industries. We want to see Kannadigas everywhere.We want Kannada everywhere.Please don’t take pains to speak Kannada. Please, you are not doing any favours for Kannadigas by staying here. First leave Bangalore at the earliest. You are all buying properties, lands of Kannadigas. Therefore I appeal you to first leave Bangalore. Don’t think that by learning Kannada you are free to stay in Karnataka. You speak kannada or not, that makes no difference for us. We want 90% Kannadigas in Bangalore.Our youths employed in good IT-NON IT jobs.
    In otherwords, in first place we do not want any outsiders in such large numbers in Bangalore.
    PLEASE LEAVE KARNATAKA,PLEASE LEAVE FOR ONCE WITH YOUR BAGGAGE,WE DO NOT NEED ANY OUTSIDERS.This is opinion of all the Kannadigas. Go to your respective states.Build your towns cities.Create employment. But please do not interfere in Karnataka’s affairs. We can do anything in our state. We can have 1000 weeks moratorium for non-kannada movies. We will do whatever we want. It is our prerogative.isn’t it? Nobody has any business to talk about that. We do not interfere with affairs of other states and we are not interested either. But for god’s sake please leave Karnataka at once. PLEASE.

    RAJESH K V

  28. indian says

    Rajesh ,
    Are you part of India or Kannadastan?
    But you still shamelessly want all the good things out of India right?
    When we all go out of karnataka dont be foolish to day dream that 90% of jobs will go to kannadigas! There wont be any IT/BT left here BOSS… why dont you see that point?
    For Capital markets human talent is of utmost importance…. If not namma bengaluru it might be namma hyderabad or namma pune or namma chennai or namma noida.
    Nobody is gonna stick out here for the climate or the kannadigas. What the employers need is talent.

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