A cruel oversight

Published Nov 9, 2016, 12:00 am IST
Updated Nov 9, 2016, 7:53 am IST
After two stuntsmen lost their lives in Karnataka during an action sequence, here’s what actors and stuntsmen have to say about tragedy.
Raghav Uday along with Anil Kumar had clicked this photo before the fatal incident
 Raghav Uday along with Anil Kumar had clicked this photo before the fatal incident

Even while special teams still try to recover the bodies of Kannada actors Anil Kumar and Raghav Uday, who died in the tragic incident that occurred while shooting Masti Gudi at TG Halli Reservoir, Karnataka, the question being asked is why no regulations are in place... leading to a complete absence of safety measures before shooting risky scenes!

Popular Kannada actor Dr Shivarajkumar says, “I am at a loss of words. I do not understand how non-swimmers were made to do such stunts without proper safety measures. Two lives lost right in front of our eyes. It’s high time all the concerned bodies of the film industry come together and discuss safety measures to avoid such risks in the future.”


Travesty of safety
Though accidents can happen even when there are safety precautions in place, what happened in Bengaluru was a travesty of safety. In 1993, I first got stunt equipment from London for a film, and since then, safety equipment has advanced in leaps and bounds. For those men to have jumped into the lake without life jackets is shocking.
Tinu Verma (Stunt director, worked on films Border, Shootout at Wadala and Baazigar)

Stunt directors to blame!
Vijay Master, a leading stunt director of South India  attributes the Bengaluru incident to the negligence of the stunt director. “Before the actors jumped from the helicopter, they had said that they didn’t know how to swim well. When they were not confident, the stunt director should not have accepted them. Every precautionary measure should have been taken. Nowadays, technology is available, there is no need to film risky action scenes.
Vijay Master (Stunt director)

Celebs recall dangerous stunts

Akshay Kumar
Risks during action scenes come with the territory. You can’t be doing stunts and not expect an element of danger. I remember, during the shooting of Garam Masala, I banged my head against a wooden cabinet, which lead to profuse bleeding.There was panic on the sets, and everyone thought it was far more serious than what it actually was.

Kamal Haasan
I spun out of control on a hurling motorbike and crashed into a roof during a stunt sequence for Mumbai Express. The pillion, a little boy, and I had a providential escape. It’s time we stopped doing unreasonably dangerous things. Today, it’s the hospital, tomorrow it could be the morgue.

During the shooting of Punnagai Mannan (dubbed as Dance Master in Telugu), the three harnesses with which I was hanging mid-air snapped and I fell to the ground. Everyone thought I’d be dead or crippled. Luckily, I got away with torn ligaments and bruises.

Then again, during the film Kaligan, I did an action scene in a subway. It was a relatively easy sequence. But a car sped up and hit me on my spine. I landed on top of the car. Then, when it halted, I went under the wheel. I dislocated my jaw, my nose was cracked and I had three fractures. I thought I’d never walk again.

As told to Subhash K. Jha