<< Home

The Kannada Film Crisis of 2004

The Kannada Film Industry made headline news all over the country in November and December 2004.  The issue was a 'demand' and subsequent 'agitation' launched by some sections of the industry to ban screening of new films in languages other than Kannada in the state.

The agitation (and some unfortunate, though minor, law & order disturbances that accompanied it) shocked upper-middle class, "English-speaking" sensibilities and caused much of the National press to report it in a negative light.  It also caused the city's 'majority' non-Kannada-using population to react in indignant horror and outrage at what they saw as a purely chauvinistic agitation.

Several voices spoke up both in favour of and against the agitation.  While it was easy enough, in the situation, to condemn what 'seemed' like a pretty outrageous demand by the agitators, several very reasonable & learned voices were heard speaking up in sympathy with the protestors although they did not necessarily condone the form that the agitation took.

Bangalore Notes provides a sampling of the shallow analysis & condemnation that the agitation invited from the 'cosmopolitan' media (this was, however, reflective of the knee-jerk opinions that were voiced by upper middle class and non-Kannada-sympathetic sections of society in the city & state).  It also presents a counter point and alternative view of the film agitation.

A sampling of 'mainstream' reactions to the crisis (from the Indian Express:  Sujatha SrinivasanVijay Nambisan)

Our counterpoint and an alternative perspective on the Film Agitation