The tragic death of 23-year old techie Subhasri from a banner falling on her while she was on her bike on a busy road has shaken the entire state. The battle against the cutout and banner culture has gained quick momentum with political parties asking their cadre not to erect banners or flex boards. Joining them now are actors Vijay and Suriya. They are requesting their fans not to erect cutouts during the audio launch of their forthcoming films Bigil and Kaappaan.
Thalapathy Vijay sent a statement through his fans club president Bussy Anand requesting fans not to put up banners and cutouts henceforth for his movies and in particular asked them to completely avoid them for the Bigil audio launch scheduled on September 19.
At the recent promo meet of Kaappaan, Suriya said, “The death of a young techie really saddens all of us. I request my fans not to erect huge hoardings or banners during Kaappaan release and instead use the money on educational purposes.”
Taking their matinee idol’s request seriously, the fans have decided to serve social causes to promote their movies. Suriya fans in Nellai have gone one step ahead and turned real ‘Kaappans’ (protectors) in resolving to gift 200 helmets to riders from the money allotted for banners on the film’s release on September 20.
Arjun Saravanan, Deputy Commissioner, Law and Order, Nellai has lauded Suriya fans on social media. Other welfare associations are also following the banner reform, with the North Madras unit adopting a school and the Tiruttani unit deciding to host a feast for the needy and the Thirvallur club to plant 1,000 tree saplings.
Actor Vivek, who spreads social messages through his comedy, took to his social media to mention that he had spoken about this in his 2003 film Kadhal Sadugudu condemning the cutout culture. He posted and spoke about it at a food fair launched by the state government at Island Grounds.
“I have already condemned our habit of sticking posters everywhere, in (Kadhal Sadugudu). This incident is very sad n unfortunate. My heartfelt condolences to the family of Subasri. Measures should be brought to erect banners and posters, which is applicable to even cinema.”
Ajith may have disbanded his fan clubs but his fans follow what their Thala says. The Manitha Kadavul Ajith Bhakthargal belonging to the Madurai Fans Club has put up posters in the temple town stating they will not be erecting banners and cutouts for their idol in the future.
Meanwhile, Minister of Information and Publicity Kadambur Raju has said, “Other than the stipulated places inside theatres, action will be taken on those who erect banners or cutouts of actors in public areas causing nuisance to public”.
Actor Aari, who raises his voice in support of public causes, requested Superstar Rajinikanth to advise his fans not to erect huge banners during Darbar release. Speaking at the audio launch of Kadhal Ambu, Aari said, “Promotion is very crucial and inevitable for any film. In foreign countries, they don’t erect cutouts or banners. They do it adopting modern techniques like electronic methods and promote in trains, buildings and vehicles. Subasri’s should be the last in such deaths. Avoid keeping massive cutouts for big actors. They have to insist to their fans. Soon, Rajini’s Darbar is getting released. I humbly request Rajini to instruct his fans not to indulge in erecting cutouts.”
Actor-turned politician Kamal Hassan too addressed the issue on Saturday while hosting the Bigg Boss reality show. Recalling Subhashri’s tragic death, Kamal said, “We have a bigger responsibility. We have to become their protectors. This is not the first time that a life has been lost due to the erection of illegal cutouts. In 2017, a man named Raghu from Coimbatore died in a similar accident after a huge banner fell on him. The Madras high court too has many a time insisted that erecting unlawful cutouts is in violation of the law. However, no one had the time to pay any attention to it.”
The tragedy brings to fore the order passed by Madras High Courts banning cutouts/banners/flex boards. Two years back, Madras high court banned the use of pictures of living persons on banners and hoardings in Tamil Nadu, where gigantic cutouts of politicians and actors are almost a part of the local culture....