Voices of concern

Voices of concern

The Kannada film industry rose as one and shut all operations for a day opposing dubbing of other language films and television serials to Kannada. Prominent faces from the Kannada film industry such as Shivarajkumar, Puneeth Rajkumar, Sudeep, Darshan, Duniya Vijay, Tara, Jayamala were there to lend their support and strength to the cause.

The protesting stars said that Kannada films don’t get as much attention, viewership and encouragement that other language films such as Hindi, Tamil and Telugu enjoy. They also wondered why other language films must be dubbed into Kannada when films in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi get near-simultaneous releases in Karnataka.
The ban on dubbing films has been in place in Karnataka for decades. In 1960s,
writers and film personalities took to the road to get the ban in place. Thanks to the ban, the Kannada film industry did grow.

The issue of dubbing again raised its ugly head again when Competition Commission of India (CCI) intervened a couple of years ago, when Hindi film ‘Kites’ was released in more than the allotted number of theatres for non-Kannada films. “It is rumoured that CCI is on the verge of giving its verdict, which is expected to be in favour of dubbing. But we oppose this move and want to give vent to our apprehensions and fears by voicing our displeasure before anything is decided,” explains HD Gangaraju, president of Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce. He wondered, “Why should other language films be dubbed in Kannada when they are releasing almost simultaneously in Karnataka? We would become a minority industry. This is not done.”

Popular comedian Jaggesh observed that films dubbed in other languages do well in other states but if the same thing is followed here then Kannada films will lose its prominence. “Karnataka has fewer theatres compared to other South Indian states with many of them primarily showing other language movies. Even now senior artistes in the State are facing a problem. If dubbing is allowed, we will lose the little chance that we have. We are just asking for our rights.”

Actor Shivarajkumar was spotted along with his brother Puneeth. Shivarajkumar said, “There are many underlying issues. The technicians who work behind the scenes will be affected and what will the producers get if all the films are dubbed?”

   Shivarajkumar hopes to take this rather peaceful protest across the State. “We are confident that there will be a positive outcome. We may organise a similar peaceful protest in other parts of the State,” he added.

   His brother Puneeth was no less supportive. He said, “Although, I watch and enjoy other language films, I am worried about the thousands working hard in Kannada film and serials. Even a 10 per cent reduction will mean huge losses.” Shashi Kumar, another actor said, “There are not only actors and technicians but their families as well who will be affected if dubbing of other languages into Kannada is permitted. This is just the beginning. We will ensure that we get our point across.” 

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