Controversies related to Rajnikanth’s Movie “Kaala”

Controversies with Kaala

The release of Rajnikanth’s movie is no less than a festival for his fans and followers. To celebrate the release of his latest movie “Kaala”, the cine-goers, to be precise, the fans of Rajnikanth were seen queuing up outside the movie theaters at 4 in the morning. Though the movie “Kaala” is mired in controversy, however, that did not deter the the fans of Rajnikanth to flock the movie theaters. These scenes outside the movie theatres were no less than a carnival with some of them seen bursting crackers while others were spotted wearing customized t-shirts. Few had their body painted, while some took time out from their busy schedule.

The movie “Kaala”, which released on June 7, is based on the decades-old festering Cauvery river dispute. As per media reports, the Kannadigas are not comfortable with the release of “Kaala” in Karnataka. This issue became so sensitive that the producers of the movie Dhanush and Aishwarya Rajnikanth had to file a petition in the Karnataka High court to release “Kaala”.

The actor-turned-politician Rajnikanth announced his arrival in politics in December 2017 after which he asked Karnataka to release the water share of Tamil Nadu as directed by the Supreme Court. Later, in April 2018, he again voiced his opinion and said that the Cauvery Management Board should be formed as soon as possible and if it is not formed then the center may have to face the wrath of entire Tamil Nadu. The Pro-Kannada groups were offended by the statements of Rajnikanth about Kannadigas during the protests over the Cauvery river waters so now they have been protesting against the release of the movie “Kaali” which throws light on the same issue.
The president of Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha Vatal Nagaraj is leading the protest against Kaala and has said that they are not going to allow the release of any old or new films of Rajinikanth and Kamal Hassan until they apologize for their remarks made against the interests of Karnataka in the sharing of the Cauvery water with Tamil Nadu and other states.

As the Karnataka High court has given the permission to release the movie in the state, Rajnikanth has asked the Chief Minister of Karnataka, Kumaraswamy, to provide protection to the people who are going to watch the movie. However, Kumaraswamy has personally commented that the makers of the movie should not release the film in such a situation. The megastar is optimistic and believes that movie “Kaala” will not face any issues in Karnataka.

Cauvery River issue

Cauvery River dispute has been serving as a political hot potato for over a decade. Though the river Cauvery flows through Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and the Union Territory of Puducherry, however, the dispute lies between the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu only. The issue over the Cauvery river dates back to the year 1892 where developments were regulated by the agreements between the erstwhile princely state of Mysore and the Madras Presidency. Later, in 1924 an agreement was necessitated to prevent the building of Krishnarajasagar dam across the Cauvery river by Mysore. A new declaration of the agreement was regarding the usage of Cauvery water for irrigation. It was decided that both states can use water safely for irrigation purposes and changes could be introduced if any of the states face a problem. Cauvery River Authority (CRA) consisting of engineers, technocrats and other officers was formed in 1997 to resolve the issue and provide the government with ground-reality details.

With the passage of time, developments took place and in February 2007, a final declaration on the share of Cauvery water was made in which 419 TMC of water was annually allotted to Tamil Nadu, 270 TMC to Karnataka, 30 TMC to Kerala and 7 TMC to Puducherry. Though the water was divided, the dispute, however, did not end. All four states decided to file review petitions for regulating the order. Another dispute arose when Karnataka was ordered to release 192 TMC of water to Tamil Nadu from June to May in a normal year. This dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu has continued since then.

On February 16, 2018, a final verdict over the dispute was passed by the honorary Supreme court in which the state of Karnataka was asked to release 177.25 TMC of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu. The court passed a fair decision by keeping in mind the needs of both the states. Additional 14.75 TMC of water is provided to Karnataka for agricultural purposes and for implementation of water supply schemes of the state. Nearly 10 TMC water groundwater from Cauvery delta preserved for safe use by Tamil Nadu but still even after the Supreme court’s decision Cauvery river has been acting as a bone of contention between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu

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