Chennai: Milk dealers write to top cop, seek ban on paal-abhishekams

Why steal and waste milk to celebrate cine idols' stardom?

Chennai: Shame on you, celluloid heroes. The poor milk vendors in Tamil Nadu are crying that your fans are stealing their milk packets for performing paal-abhishekams (pouring of milk) of the giant cut-outs and banners erected outside theatres at the time of the movie releases.

The Tamil Nadu Milk Dealers Welfare Association (TNMDWA) has even written to the Chennai Police Commissioner pleading for a permanent ban on this paal-abhishekam practice, which has been a disgusting phenomenon in the south, particularly in Tamil Nadu -- disgusting because it blares out the slavish fawning of a person whose only achievement has been to rise in movie stardom while doing very little or nothing towards public cause.

There is a second reason why this paal practice is disgusting: huge wastage of precious/nutritious food in a social environment that still shows thousands of malnourished children. And there is a third reason too - paal-abhishekam is a Hindu practice of worshiping the deity by bathing the idol or image with pure milk and so the hero’s fans are seeking to equate their cine idol with Hindu deities.

The fans also light camphor in front of the theatre screen before the first show of the hero’s film. They also break coconuts thereby converting the movie hall into a temple where the hero becomes the Lord worthy of worship.

It’s another matter that the usually hawk-eyed saffron brigade has not noticed the insult to their faith; or perhaps they do not want to hurt the vote-bank fans by snatching away their milk pots and snuffing out the camphor fire.

The TNMDWA complaint to the Police Commissioner does not mention the religious hurt; it only speaks about the fans stealing the milk packets (early in the morning from the doorsteps of the customers) on a large scale for filling up the large cans to be emptied on the giant banners outside the theatres. The large-scale theft affects their livelihood and that happens every time a big film is released, complained the milk dealers.

The milk dealers' complaint comes close on the heels of actor Simbu posting his video on the social media on Tuesday (Jan 22) urging his fans to celebrate like never before the release of his film, Vantha Rajavathaan Varuven on February 1, by pouring buckets of milk over his cutouts. Interestingly, the hero had said just the opposite on video posted barely a week earlier wherein he had pleaded with his fans not to indulge in wasteful rituals such as paal-abhishekams during his movie release and to spend that money to buy a sari for their mother or a shirt for the father, at least a chocolate for the brother/sister. “And post those pictures of your happy kin on the social media, I will be so happy”, Simbu had said in that video, pointing out that parents “are of prime importance”, not movie stars.

Kollywood sources said Simbu's first video was genuinely from the heart whereas the next one was more in the nature of a spoof and a retort at some persons who reportedly poked fun at him for asking his fans not to waste milk on his cutouts. He hasn't got many fans, so why was Simbu doing such solemn lecturing, the critics reportedly taunted the star. Which is why he said in the second video that he had, after all, just a handful of fans and so not many buckets would be needed anyway.

In any case, the TNMDWA has asked the Police Commissioner to take action against Simbu, alleging that his videos could cause law and order problems. “Simbu’s request might irritate the fans of other stars and that could result in clashes between the two groups”, said the milk dealers in their complaint.

Simbu’s Vantha Rajavathaan Varuven is being released on February 1, a few days ahead of his birthday. It was originally slated for a Pongal release but was apparently held back to avoid clashing with Rajinikanth’s Petta and Ajith's Viswasam.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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