In gratitude for the land allotted in Kancheepuram for deserving members of the cine industry by our venerated Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Kalaignar Karunanidhi, FEFSI organised a felicitation ceremony over the weekend. The elaborate thanksgiving event saw the entire Tamil film industry present including Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Ajith Kumar and Vijay. The guest of honour was Bollywood’s great Amitabh Bachchan.
While various celebrities came on stage to thank our CM, Ajith took the opportunity to put in an earnest request – one that came as quite a surprise. Ajith, who is known for his quick, diplomatic messages at such FEFSI hosted functions, began his speech by thanking the CM and also exalting him as the Sun of the Tamil Film Industry and the five and half foot representation of Tamil Nadu itself! He then went on to make a very sincere request that cinema and politics need not be forcibly co-mingled. The actor alluded to several incidents – fasting and parades that were undertaken by FEFSI members supporting or protesting a social cause. While the actor is not averse to such FEFSI initiatives, he insisted that forcing every member of the industry to participate in them was something he and many like him were not in favour of. He added that threats to ostracise non-conformers from the industry had become a common occurrence and those should most certainly be put an end to; and only the CM had the power to do so. The actor reiterated that he was tired of such an unbecoming attitude from senior members of the industry and beseeched the CM to make a statement that members of the cine industry must not be forced to participate in political or social issues.
While the whole of the industry sat shocked, not knowing how to respond to Ajith’s honest words, it was Super Star Rajinikanth, who sat beside the CM, who stood up and clapped. The rest of the industry then followed suit.
When our CM went behind the microphone, he stated that it was not his intention to mix cinema and politics, and added that should politics enter cinema, it should only be for a good purpose. He also agreed that cine folk should not be forced to make statements or participate in events related to social causes. At the same time, he was very appreciative of the integrity and unity of the Tamil cine industry, because everyone had turned up for the felicitation.