Rajnikanth, Kamal Haasan keep away from the controversy claiming they were shooting outside Tamil Nadu
Chennai : A host of Tamil film actors protesting against the conviction and jailing of former Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa observed fast on Tuesday.
While superstars Rajnikanth, Kamal Haasan and many leading heroines stayed away from the controversial fasting event claiming that they were shooting outside Tamil Nadu, quite significantly actor and MLA Sarathkumar, who is a minor political ally of the AIADMK contended that the fast was voluntary. “We are not organising this fast under any compulsion or threat. We are doing it voluntarily as Jayalalithaa has done a lot for the film industry,” he said.
A few other speakers including some directors also toed a similar line. Some said they were on a fast only to express solidarity with the jailed leader and not to protest against anything. Among the current reigning stars only a few of them like Surya (of Gajini fame) and Vikram participated in the fast. Most of the others were yesteryear stars including Prabhu, to whose niece Jayalalithaa’s co-convict and disowned foster son V N Sudhakaran was married in a publicly pompous show in September 2005.
Meanwhile, protests by the AIADMK and some ‘independent’ groups continued for the fourth day in parts of Tamil Nadu.
The AIADMK appeared to be on a collision course with the judiciary with its functionaries pasting posters attributing linguistic motives to Special Judge Michael D’Cunha for convicting Jayalalithaa. Quite shockingly, the Vellore Corporation, which is headed by an AIADMK Mayor, passed a resolution at its council meeting condemning the judge for convicting their ‘innocent’ leader. One of the posters put up by an overzealous functionary read: “How can a man punish a God?”
Meanwhile, police in Coimbatore in western Tamil Nadu have registered against a DMK cadre for posting a digitally morphed photograph on Facebook showing BJP leader Subramanian Swamy tonsuring Jayalalithaa. It was on Swamy’s complaint that the corruption case against her was registered way back in 1996.
In a related development, Tamil Nadu’s new Chief Minister O Panneerselvam who flew down to Bangalore last evening after taking the oath of office, returned to Chennai without meeting Jayalalithaa. He had gone there to seek her blessings in jail. But reports said that though prison authorities allowed him to meet her on Tuesday (he was denied permission on Monday late evening), Jayalalithaa did not want to meet him as she was upset over alleged ill-treatment in jail.