‘Representatives from Maharashtra, New Delhi, UP and Gujarat have been invited, but none from the southern states’.

 

CHENNAI: Though the country is returning to normal from the Covid related lockdown and restrictions, few services like educational institutes, public meetings, large gatherings and theatres are still not allowed to function. Cinema theatres remain closed for more than 170 days here in Tamil Nadu and in the entire country. Cinema and multiplex associations are making continued demands to the government, asking it to allow the opening of theatres at the earliest. Already, several rounds of talks were held by the Tamil Nadu state government and the state government is waiting for nod from the Central government on this issue.

In a recent communication issued by the Home Ministry’s Disaster Management Division, it has called for a meeting via video-conferencing with various State Cinema Associations on 8 September to hear their views, but in the invite, no representatives from the southern states have been invited for the meeting. Representatives from Maharashtra, New Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and even those from Gujarat have been invited, but none from the southern states.

Taking objection to this, Tamil Nadu Cinema theatre association president Subramanian said: “It is sad that the Central government has not invited us to the meeting when they have invited representatives from states like Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh when 60-70% of the movies in a year gets released from the southern states and more than 60% of the theatres are in southern States”, and demanded that the Central government should listen to all the associations before making any decisions on opening up theatres.

Tamil Nadu Distributors’ Association president T.R. Rajendran said that entire South India has been ignored and questioned why South Indian associations were not invited, when close to 800 movies get released from South every year and why two associations were called from Gujarat when very few movies come from that state.

When Tamil Nadu information and Publicity Minister Kadambur Raju addressed the media, he said that there has been a meeting scheduled between the Tamil Cinema association representatives, theatre owners’ association with the Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami on Monday and a “good decision” will be taken after the meeting at the earliest.