Off the record

Now, Bengali dubbing row

Gunday, the latest Hindi blockbuster to hit town, might have thrilled audiences but has become a cause of concern for those involved with the Bengali film industry. Actors, filmmakers and producers from the local film industry feel that the Hindi film, which has also been released dubbed in Bengali, could harm the chances of commercial Bengal cinema, which is seeing some sort of a renaissance in the past few years. Only recently, the Kannada film industry saw a prolonged agitation against dubbing films of other languages into Kannada.

While popular stars like Prasenjit, along with leading directors Raj Chakraborty,
producer-exhibitor Arijit Dutta have come forward to register their reservations towards the film’s Bengali dubbed version, they want producers and distributors of Hindi films to stay away from this path in the future. A section of producers, exhibitors and distributors, however, feel that when a large number of commercial Bengali films are remakes of hit Tamil, Telugu and Kannada films, dubbed Hindi films should not be of much concern to the Bengali film industry.

Drimi Chaudhuri, Kolkata

Poke them!

It hasn’t been long since a popular Malayalam movie actress – miffed with unflattering social media discussions on her personal life – said Malayalis could do with some tips on social network etiquette. The jury could still be split on that but social networks including Facebook is proving to be ideal haunts for some of Kerala’s politicians to speak their mind beyond the strictures of party diktats.

V T Balram – a Congress MLA who has used his Facebook account to discuss issues otherwise approached diplomatically by his leaders – is one of the new-breed politicians not averse to taking on community leaders in the state, even in an election year.

Further, when the state’s tallest political leaders remained guarded in responses to the recent controversy surrounding a book that makes allegations against spiritual guru Mata Amritanandamayi and her math, Balram posted a message seeking caution when following gurus and godmen. C K Sasindran, the CPI(M)’s Wayanad district secretary, also demanded a probe into the allegations. Like and Share are still options but it’s Poke that works best, at least for some of them!

Krishna Kumar, Thiruvananthapuram

Hopping season

This is election time. And party hopping by leaders, a regular feature during election eve, has already begun in Odisha which is scheduled to host simultaneous polls for the Lok Sabha and the state assembly. One among them who has managed to secure maximum media space because of the manner in which he jumped the fence is senior BJP leader and former state minister Golak Nayak. In the morning hours last Thursday, he was seen at Naveen Niwas, the residence of chief minister and ruling BJD president Naveen Patnaik. Just hours later on the same day he was at the state BJP headquarters attending a party meeting insisting to the media that he was still with the BJP and that he had gone to the chief minister to discuss developmental works in his constituency.

However, two days later, Nayak took a u-turn announcing his decision to quit BJP charging the party leaders of working for personal gains. His next move is being keenly watched because he is yet to formally announce his decision to join the BJD.

S T Beuria, Bhubaneswar

Paswan’s pique

One of the reasons for Ramvilas Paswan’s LJP walking away from the proposed Congress-led alliance was AICC President Sonia Gandhi’s short shrift to the Bihar leader. Sonia is learnt to have told him that it was her son Rahul who would take a
final call on the issue. It was Paswan’s son Chirag who finally swung the deal in favour of the BJP. Another worry for the junior Paswan was the shift in the RJD leadership from Lalu Prasad to his son Tejaswi. Chirag, the Chairman of the LJP Parliamentary Board, felt that Lalu may scuttle his prospects in state politics to give a better deal to his progeny.

Similar non-seriousness may cost the Congress a few leaders. Sudha Rai, the widow of party stalwart Kalpnath Rai, was cold shouldered by Congress leader. “Kalpnath Rai, who?” was the response of Madhusudhan Mistry when she met him for a party ticket.

Sagar Kulkarni, New Delhi

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