CHENNAI: Backing the demand for setting up the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and Cauvery Water Regulatory Committee (CWRC) and closure of the Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudi, Tamil film industry on Sunday staged a four-hour silent stir from 9 am at Valluvar Kottam here.
Top artists, including Vishal, general secretary of the South Indian Film Artists Association (SIFAA), Vijay, his father and noted filmmaker S A Chandrasekar, Surya, Sivakarthikeyan and Dhanush lined up in expressing their solidarity with the protesters for Cauvery water.
Addressing the participants, SIFAA president Nassar alleged that the State government had denied them the venue they sought for staging the protest. “Observing silence is the best weapon. So we have decided to hold a silent stir, but the venue we wanted to stage this protest was denied,” he said.
He stressed the need for setting up the CMB, which has been a longstanding demand of Tamil Nadu. Touching upon the ongoing stir against the Sterlite Copper plant, Nassar emphasised that the unit be closed as the local people, particularly women and children, were badly affected. Senior artists Sivakumar and Sathiyaraj were among those present.
Pointing to the need for retrieving the rights of Tamil Nadu on Cauvery, Sathiyaraj said the sentiments of Tamils must be respected and that he would always stand behind them in their fight for rights. “We will not be cowed down. We will not budge even if the Army is called in,” he said.
In his address, Vishal said the CMB must be formed to ensure water to Tamil Nadu.
Two resolutions, proposed by filmmaker R K Selvamani, were adopted during the stir. A resolution demanded the Centre and the State governments to resolve the longstanding issue of Cauvery water dispute by constituting the CMB without any political considerations. The other resolution demanded closure of Sterlite Copper plant.
Representatives of the Film Employees Federation of South India (FEFSI) and Tamil Film Producers Council also participated in the protest.
Rajini-Kamal share dais
Actor-turned-politicians Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan were the cynosure of all eyes at the fraternity’s stir demanding constitution of CMB. They sat side by side and were seen conversing frequently. Kamal, who founded Makkal Neethi Maiam, launched his political journey from Rameswaram recently, while Superstar Rajinikanth’s political outfit is yet to take wings as he has been concentrating on establishing grassroots level units before launching the party.