Asin threatened with ban

Apr 23, 2008 NR


Chennai, April 23 (IANS) Leading Tamil actress Asin may be "banned" by the South Indian Artistes' Association (SIAA) for her "non-cooperation" during a protest fast against Karnataka, the ássociation's general secretary M.R. Radha Ravi said Wednesday.

"The buck has to stop somewhere. A decision will be taken by Sarath Kumar (SIAA president), upon his return later this week, against all those film personalities who did not join the protest and failed to offer an acceptable explanation for not turning up for the fast. Asin is one of several people who have not offered plausible explanations for their absence from the fast. We also are awaiting explanations from actors Napoleon, Karthik and Radhika who too failed to turn up," Ravi told IANS.

Film industry sources said Asin is being threatened since she has no political godfathers.

Sources said the move is aimed at forcing the rest of the Tamil film industry to unite against Karnataka so as to force Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi to take strong action with regards to the Rs.13.3 billion Hogenekkal project. He has chosen to downplay the issue by suspending work for the project till the assembly elections in Karnataka are over in May.

The Tamil film industry activists had observed a day's fast April 4 to express their ire against attacks on Tamil establishments in Bangalore during agitations, allegedly by pro-Kannada activists, against Tamil Nadu's plan to set up its drinking water supply project at Hogenekkal waterfall on the boarder of the two states.

Sarath Kumar had demanded that all those who did not participate in the fast should submit their explanations to the SIAA by Tuesday.

So far, only one actress, Mumtaz, has offered an explanation for not turning up. She has cited medical reasons for not participating in the protest.

The Film Employees' Federation of South India (FEFSI) had expressed its reservation about the daylong fast as it concerned an inter-state political dispute and could affect many people employed in the film industry, including music directors, editors and cinematographers.

The federation alleged that Sarath Kumar was attempting to hijack the Hogenekkal controversy to popularise his political party - the All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi.

Asin is the female lead opposite Kamal Hassan and Aamir Khan in major productions awaiting release. If the ban on her comes into force, members of SIAA would refuse to work with her.

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