The Tamil film fraternity is not one to stay silent on burning issues, be it the Jallikattu uprising or Anita’s suicide over NEET. Now, several celebrities include the stars-aspiring politicians have spoken out against the expansion of Vedanta Sterlite’s copper smelter in Tuticorin as it would add to the pollution levels and contaminate the Kumarareddiapuram village in Thoothukudi to hazardous levels.
Rajinikanth, in his latest tweet, said, “Why the government of Tamil Nadu still silent over the ongoing protest against Sterlite Copper and allowing them to function despite opposition from the residents.”
ஸ்டெர்லைட் தொழிற்சாலையால் மக்கள் பல்வேறு நோய்களால் பாதிக்கப்பட்டிருக்கிறோம் என்று 47 நாட்களா அவதிப்பட்டு போராடிக்கொண்டிருக்கும் போது, தொழிற்சாலை நடத்த அனுமதி கொடுத்த அரசு எந்த நடவடிக்கையும் எடுக்காமல் வேடிக்கை பார்த்துக்கொண்டிருப்பது புரியாத புதிராக உள்ளது #SterliteProtest
— Rajinikanth (@rajinikanth) March 31, 2018
After Rajinikanth’s tweet, actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan visited Kumarareddiapuram village in Tuticorin district to express solidarity with those protesting against Sterlite and its proposed unit in the region. The founder of Makkal Needhi Maiam told the protesters: “The lives of people are more important than the money from copper.”
This anti -sterlite peoples agitation needs media support. My new status as a party leader need not be a disqualification or a deterent. I am still part of the Tamizh population. I am committed to this cause
— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) March 24, 2018
— Makkal Needhi Maiam | மக்கள் நீதி மய்யம் (@maiamofficial) April 1, 2018
Sarath Kumar, the actor-politician, has also gone to Thoothukudi to show his support to the people who are protesting against Sterlite.
#Sarathkumar participated in the #Sterlite protest and he drank the polluted dirty yellow water that has become contaminated due to the Sterlite #Copper. @realsarathkumar @realradikaa @varusarath #SterliteProtest #BanSterlite #BANSterliteSAVETHOOTHUKUDI pic.twitter.com/Q6NIMQKT2v
— Kalakkal Cinema (@kalakkalcinema) April 1, 2018
Actor-music director GV Prakash has been tweeting against Sterlite ever since the protest started with the handle #StandForThoothukudi.
— G.V.Prakash Kumar (@gvprakash) March 30, 2018
Ban Sterlite factory!!!
Save people of thoothukudi.. share as much as possible ???? pic.twitter.com/tSSWuxWTpi
— SaiDhanshika (@SaiDhanshika) March 29, 2018
Meanwhile, Sterlite Copper in a PR overdrive tweeted at Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth in an attempt to defend their organisation.
Dear @rajinikanth, we feel that incorrect and untrue information may have reached you about our operations in Thoothukudi. It is our sincere hope that these #facts will give you the true picture and help develop a balanced opinion. #TruthAloneTriumphs #FactsMatter pic.twitter.com/uiRaNpIwVO
— Sterlite Copper (@sterlite_copper) April 1, 2018
Dear Kamal sir, as an organization we are committed to empowering our surrounding communities. In light of the recent misconceptions about us, we humbly submit the true facts and encourage you to visit our plant in Thoothukkudi. #TruthAloneTriumphs @ikamalhaasan pic.twitter.com/POaNaQr547
— Sterlite Copper (@sterlite_copper) March 31, 2018
Nadigar Sangam, the association of actors in Kollywood, has stated in a press conference that they’ll soon be joining the protests against Sterlite Copper and demand for the formation of Cauvery Management Board. They may go on fast or take out a procession as a mark of their protest.
The water dispute between the border states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu has also caught the attention of the film fraternity. Apart from the Nadigar Sangam members, many stars have tweeted in favour of the formation of the Cauvery Management Board.
— G.V.Prakash Kumar (@gvprakash) April 1, 2018
காவிரி விஷயத்தில் உச்ச நீதிமன்ற தீர்ப்பின்படி காவிரி மேலாண்மை வாரியம் அமைப்பது ஒன்று மட்டுமே நாம் ஏற்றுக்கொள்ளக்கூடிய நியாயமான தீர்வாக இருக்க முடியும்.
I sincerely hope justice will prevail.
— Rajinikanth (@rajinikanth) March 29, 2018
On Sunday, members of the DMK staged a protest against the Centre for not setting up the Cauvery Management Board as per the Supreme Court’s orders. Party working president MK Stalin and his son Udhaynidhi, Kanimozhi were reportedly detained and was later released. The party along with its allies has called for a strike on April 5.
Kamal Haasan will reportedly meet Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami to discuss the issue. He had earlier said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi can set up the committee if he wants to and that formation of the committee is the only way out.
The Supreme Court, on February 16, had set a March 30 deadline for the central government to set up the Cauvery Management Board. Meanwhile, the apex court on Monday agreed to hear Tamil Nadu’s contempt petition against Cabinet Secretary P.K. Sinha and Union water resources secretary U.P. Singh for not having constituted the Cauvery Management Board within the given deadline.
While Kollywood takes up these cause, the stand-off between the producers council and the Digital Service Providers continues with no Tamil films releasing for over a month now.