Tamil, Hindi movies and cinema industry in India

Indian Interference into Tamil Movies

Thanjai Nalankilli

TAMIL TRIBUNE, December 1998 (ID. 1998-12-02)
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Indian Government attempts for jurisdiction over movies and cinema industry, and the adverse effects on Tamil language and Tamil Nadu movie production.

1. Introduction

2. Into the Tamil Cinema Industry

An Update to the article (dated July 20, 2004)

1. Introduction

The Indian government, dominated and controlled by politicians from the Hindi heartland, wants to impose Hindi language and Hindi culture into every aspect of every non-Hindi people in the "Indian Union". This is the situation irrespective of which party is in power or who the Prime Minister is. While most non-Hindi people are offended sometime or other by the high-handedness of Hindi imposition and Hindi imperialism, it is the people of Tamil Nadu who resist and oppose Hindi imposition most vehemently and consistently, although with very little success.

The Indian government imposes Hindi through every possible avenue. Every department in every central government (Indian government) ministry has an office in it to oversee that Hindi is used to the fullest possible extent in the affairs of that department. Every Indian (central) government employee has to study Hindi if he/she does not already know the language. You hear Hindi announcements and Hindi signs in all railway stations, even those in remote areas of Tamil Nadu where no one but the station master and the ticket clerk know a little Hindi. (They know Hindi a little because, as central government employees, they have to.) Go to the post office, Indian-Government owned banks, telephone offices and insurance offices. You will see Hindi in one way or other because all these departments come under central government jurisdiction. Then, of course, there is the central government run television. Hindi, Hindi all the time. Twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, Hindi programmes can be seen even in remote villages of Tamilnadu where not a single soul knows Hindi. But, alas, they will be hard pressed to find a Tamil program if they are not living in areas where cable television is available for a price.

2. Into Tamil Cinema Industry

"Television will be used as a vehicle for propagating Hindi", so said the former broadcasting and communications minister Gujral a few years ago. The only oasis for Tamil people for Tamil entertainment seemed to be Tamil movies. Until now movies are private sector and laws governing them (except for censorship) came under state government jurisdiction. More movies were produced in Tamil some years than in Hindi. This is the case with Telugu too. This caught the attention of Hindians. So they want to get some control over the movies too. Another vehicle for them to thrust Hindi into non-Hindi throats, as they are currently doing with television. But there is a minor problem. As we said before, movie industry comes under state government jurisdiction. What to do?

Recently the Indian government proposed that movies be brought under the dual jurisdiction of state and central government. Once it is done, Hindians can push their weight around in the movie industry also to impose Hindi through movies, as they are now doing with television. Movies are a very popular entertainment for the masses and so a great vehicle to impose Hindi language and Hindi culture on the Tamil masses. They are doing it very well with television, and now movies too!

This is a calculated move. At about the same time the Indian government proposed that movies be brought under the dual jurisdiction of state and central governments, it is also planning to set up a fund to finance (loans, grants) movies. The die is cast. The vice is being tightened. Guess which films will get the lion's share of this Indian government fund for movies? You guessed right! Hindi films will get the lion's share although about 75% of the money for this fund will come from non-Hindi taxpayers. If there is any doubt, look at television. More than 90% of Indian government funds for television production goes to Hindi programs and the remaining is shared by all other languages. The same thing will happen in the movie industry also once the Indian government gets jurisdiction over the movie industry.

Sooner or later, slowly but surely, Tamil movie industry will be suffocated in the same way Tamil programs are suffocated in Indian government controlled television.

The ultimate goal of the Hindian controlled Indian government is to sideline all languages in the "Indian Union", with the exception of Hindi, as languages for official use, education, entertainment and all other important aspects of life. However vehemently we protest, this will happen as long as Tamil Nadu is a state within the "Indian Union". We protested Hindi imposition in television. It is like dogs barking at the sun. No effect. We protested Hindi imposition in central government offices. No effect. If we do not want Hindi to be thrust into our throats in every aspect of life, the only solution is freedom for Tamil Nadu from India. Let us consider it seriously!

(AUTHOR'S NOTE: Hindi imposition is not the only reason for considering independence for Tamil Nadu from India. See Reference 1 for a more detailed discussion of the subject. More articles about Hindi imposition may be found in Reference 2.)

REFERENCE

1. Why Independence (Freedom) for Tamil Nadu from Indian Rule? (by Thanjai Nalankilli), TAMIL TRIBUNE, April 1999.

2. Hindi Imposition in India

UPDATE:

(This update was published in TAMIL TRIBUNE, August 2004 (ID. 2004-08-u1-a-x)

Almost six years ago, I published the above article. In it I wrote, "Indian Government is planning to set up a fund to finance (loan) movies. The die is cast. The vice is being tightened. Guess which films will get the lion's share of this Indian government fund for movies? You guessed right! Hindi films will get the lion's share although about 75% of the money for this fund will come from non-Hindi taxpayers." (Paragraph 3 of Section 2 of the article).

Now we have data. In 2001, Industrial Development Bank of India, operated by the Indian Government, started lending money to film industry. As of now it had lent money for the production of 23 Hindi movies, 3 Telugu movies and 2 Tamil movies. As we had predicted 6 years ago, lion's share of the funding has gone to Hindi movies, although Telugu film industry and Tamil film industry each produce almost as many movies as Hindi. In fact, in some years more Telugu movies are produced than Hindi movies, and in some years more Tamil movies are produced than Hindi movies. Yet only 3 Telugu movies and 2 Tamil movies got funding from Industrial Development Bank of India, while 23 Hindi films got funding from it. Is it fair?

(NOTE: The Indian Government started the Industrial Development Bank of India with 100% ownership. Later about 28% of the shares were sold to private parties. As of this writing, Indian Government is the majority owner of Industrial Development Bank of India (owns 72.14% of the bank) and thus major decisions are made by the Government of India.)

Thanjai Nalankilli
July 20, 2004

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