In a sensational decision the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce has decided to suspend Duniya's Vijay, one of Kannada cinema's top stars, for a year for violating a KFCC decision taken on October 25 to dub for the film Chanda directed by S Narayan.
This is the first time such a harsh decision has been taken against a leading star, but surprisingly all the trade bodies including the Karnataka film actors' association, Kannada film producers' association and Kannada film directors' association have expressed their solidarity with the decision.
The harsh decision came about after a stand-off between the actor and well-known producer-cum-actor-cum-director S Narayan which started a few days ago.
S Narayan, who completed his film Chanda, wanted to release it on November 15. Vijay, however, did not dub for the film despite repeated requests from the director. Narayan, who is known for his disciplined working style, then said he would release the film with or without the actor's voice on November 15 as promised to his distributors and theatre-owners.
He also complained about the actor's attitude to the KFCC. He further made some comments about Vijay's unprofessional attitude without referring to him by name at the centenary day function of Cheluvina Chiththaara, which was directed by him.
As for Vijay, he said he has extended full co-operation to the director, and said he agreed to dub for Chanda only if the director assured of releasing the film six weeks after his recent film Yuga.
But the director did not stick to the promise, the actor alleged.
The matter was then taken to the KFCC, where both the actor and director presented their versions. There, the executive committee advised Vijay to complete the dubbing as the film's release is the prerogative of the producer.
Vijay apologised for his behaviour and promised to dub for Chanda on October 29. However, the actor failed to turn up even as Narayan booked the dubbing studios on that day.
That's when the film committee organised an emergency meeting where the decision to ban the actor was taken.
Vijay, a struggling actor in the Kannada film industry just a year ago, has now acquired the status of a big star after his film Duniya became a hit.
The film, made on a shoestring budget of Rs 80 lakhs, has already raked in a cool Rs 12 crores. As a result he has become the highest paid actor. At present he is acting in four Kannada films.
And with the ban hanging over his head, the very fate of those films hang in the balance.