The Cauvery water issue which has been a constant source of trouble between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu rears its ugly head ever so often. As usual the Tamil film industry (now often referred to as Kollywood) feels obliged to throw in their support and show their solidarity given that Tamil films become an immediate target when trouble erupts. As always, this results in controversies of its own adding little value to the overall issue.
Very often, these events cause more harm than good. While it is not a bad idea for celebrities to be involved in raising awareness for a cause, it would do a world of good if these individuals stick to their “core competencies”. Without a doubt all of them are capable of attracting the crowds. All of them are at their best when they deliver planned scripted lines. Unfortunately, these events become like election rallies. Instead of serving as peaceful, hunger strike-like events, the stars are obliged to indulge in public speaking (perhaps driven by the vested interests of those stars who are already engaged in politics), most often extempore. The reality is that most of these stars are incapable of delivering a coherent message when asked to speak without a script. The result is unsophisticated language, poor use of words, and ultimately a botched message to the largely adoring public. Actor Sathyaraj’s speech is a perfect example of the kind of dangerous and divisive rhetoric that celebrities must avoid. The only voice of reason in the midst of the hoopla over the stars was that of Kamalahasan, when he said, “I need Rajni, I need Sathyaraj but I also need Kumble”.
Here is a background on the Cauvery issue for those who are interested in the details.