Narikuravars refused movie tickets, tahsildar takes them to matinee

The group, which hails from Ladavaram near Arcot, was camping at Periyapattu in Cuddalore to sell beads and wigs.
Cuddalore Tahsiladar A Balaraman handing over tickets to a matinee show of ‘Garudan’ to members of the Narikuravar community on Saturday
Cuddalore Tahsiladar A Balaraman handing over tickets to a matinee show of ‘Garudan’ to members of the Narikuravar community on Saturday Photo | Express

CUDDALORE: One fine morning filled with the simple anticipation of enjoying a new film, quickly soured into one of blatant discrimination for a group of Narikuravars in Cuddalore.

On Saturday, 30 members of the Narikuravar community, including seven children, arrived at the New Cinema Theatre on Bharathi road in Cuddalore to watch the new Tamil film, ‘Garudan’. The group, which hails from Ladavaram near Arcot, was camping at Periyapattu in Cuddalore to sell beads and wigs.

“We reached the theatre at 8 am for the 11 am show. The theatre staff asked us to wait until the showtime for tickets. But later they said the Rs 60 tickets were sold out. When we asked for the Rs 120 tickets, we got the same response. However, we could see tickets being sold at the box office while we were waiting at the entrance,” said R Karthick, one of the Narikuravars.

Upset, the group went to the Cuddalore New Town police station nearby and reported the incident. Police, in turn, directed them to the Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO), and assisted them in drafting a complaint.

Upon arriving at RDO E Abinaya’s office, they were asked to wait as she was out on work. Sometime later, A Balaraman, the Cuddalore tahsildar, arrived at the office and spoke to the Narikuravars. He then took some of the adults and children to the theatre in his car, asking the others to follow.

At the theatre, Balaraman issued the management a warning for refusing tickets to the Narikuravars before buying them tickets for the matinee show with his own money. The Narikuravars thanked him for his intervention and went on to watch the film.

Show cause notice to be issued

Balaraman said an inquiry is under way and collector had directed the RDO to issue a show cause notice to the theatre. The theatre management could not be reached for a comment. “This is not just about us watching a film despite being denied tickets. We want to ensure this behaviour is not repeated. The government must issue an order so that we are treated with respect,” one of the Narikuravars said.

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com