The highly controversial Nadigar Sangam election, scheduled for June 23, now stands 'cancelled', as the Registrar of Societies said they need time to enquire with those, who were suspended or dismissed from the association for various reasons and have no right to vote
Chennai: Tamil film industry, which is never short of drama (sometimes more compelling than the ones in the films), today was witness to another show of theatrics over the Nadigar Sangam (South Indian Film Artistes Association) election.
The highly controversial election, scheduled for June 23, now stands 'cancelled', as the Registrar of Societies said they need time to enquire with those, who were suspended or dismissed from the association for various reasons and have no right to vote.
And adding to the last-minute twists and turns, a team led by actor and incumbent secretary of the Nadigar Sangam, Vishal, met Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit and presented a memorandum alleging that there were moves afoot to not to go ahead with the election.
Just yesterday, the Madras high court had suggested to the Nadigar Sangam to select an alternative venue for its election, as the police feel that the location (a local college) may not be an ideal place for the actors to congregate in large numbers.
The election was to be held under the supervision of the former high court judge E Padmanabhan.
Now, many of you may wonder what is so important about this election to an association of the film industry that it needed the supervision of a former high court Judge.
Well, for starters, in Tamil Nadu, the filmdom is always an adjunct of the political industry. And every move that happens in Kollywood has some political undertones.
Nadigar Sangam, which is an apex body of sorts in the industry, has always held the interest of both the DMK and the AIADMK. The parties have always tried to influence the decision of the Sangam through some proxies.
This time around, the elections are between what are termed as "Pandavar Ani" and "Sankaradoss Ani". Ani means 'team' in Tamil.
Pandavar Ani is led by actor Vishal, who unsuccessfully had tried to contest the RK Nagar by-election in 2017. The seat had falled vacant then following the demise of former chief minister of the state J Jayalalithaa. There is no love lost between Vishal and the AIADMK members. And that is why today, he did not present his memorandum to the ministers or the chief minister and instead gave it to the Governor, knowing full well that the Governor can hardly do anything in such matters.
Vishal had earlier met DMK chief MK Stalin after the party put up a spectacular show in the Parliamentary election in the State.
If rumours are to be believed, Vishal and his team also have the backing of Stalin's son Udhayanidhi, an actor in Kollywood, who is also being groomed in the DMK for bigger posts later.
On the other hand, the team opposing Vishal is said to be supported by the AIADMK. Controversial actor Radha Ravi is not contesting, but is said to have a considerable voice among the small-time actors and stage artistes. He has recently joined the AIADMK. And his clout in the industry is being used to help the AIADMK-backed team to win.
"Nadigar Sangam wields a huge influence in the industry and its say is the final one in Kollywood, which is why politicos are always keen on retaining hold on it," said an actor on the condition of anonymity.
"Money is also involved, but not at that level that would hold appeal to modern-day politicos. But their interest in filmdom is for other reasons. It's for visibility, popularity and glamour, if you get my drift," he added.
People elsewhere are puzzled at the interest and intensity that the film industry's election have generated.
"If Tamil Nadu politics is unique in the sense it does not fit into a pattern, so is Kollywood," said a local journalist. "And it is not a matter to be proud of," he added portentously.
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Last Updated 19, Jun 2019, 5:54 PM