Belagavi: Tigers' won't hit screen

Marathi film shows Karnataka, Kannadigas in poor light.

Belagavi: Theatres in Belagavi are unlikely to screen controversial Marathi film, Marathi Tigers, set to hit the screens on February 5 in both Karnataka and Maharashtra. A pro-Marathi film, it reportedly portrays Karnataka and its government in poor light.

While the high court recently refused to stop its release in response to a PIL filed by a resident of Belagavi, pro-Karnataka organisations have urged the government to stop its release in the state after several anti-Karnataka scenes from it went viral on social media. With tempers fraying on both sides of the dispute, owners of cinema halls in Belagavi are reportedly reluctant to screen the film. In response, the film's producers, who are determined to show the film to a large number of Marathi people living on the border, have decided to screen it in Shinoli town, located in Maharashtra , merely 15kms from Belagavi.

A makeshift cinema hall with a 25-ft wide and 15 ft tall screen has been erected in Shinoli. The temporary air-conditioned hall spread over 4000 sq-ft can accommodate an audience of 500. A Kolhapur businessman has set up the makeshift theatre which is being provided massive security by the Chandgad police. Several pro-Maharashtra organisations have reportedly made arrangements to ferry people from Belagavi and its surrounding areas to Shinoli on Friday to see the film. “Even before watching the film which does not hurt the sentiments of Kannadigas, efforts are unfortunately being made to suppress it,” says the film's director, Abhijit Tahsildar, claiming that although Marathi Tigers does focus on various events of the last few decades on the border it does not intend to hurt the feelings of any section of people.

But chairman of the Kannada Organisations Action Committee, Ashok Chandargi welcomed the decision of theatre owners to boycott the film, claiming it was being misused by leaders of the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES) to woo voters in the coming zilla panchayat and taluk panchayat elections on the border. According to sources, several candidates contesting the panchayat elections and supported by the MES are bearing the cost of screening the film in Shinoli and taking people from Belagavi to the neighbourng town.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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