Almost all Tamil film stars turned up on Saturday for a day-long fast to express solidarity with the 'affected Tamils' in the ongoing offensive in Sri Lanka.
The big stage was painted black. Most of the actors turned up in black attire, to show their protest to the 'continued killings' of Tamils in the island nation.
From the well-known to the little-known, most faces of Tamil cinema ensured they were present for a cause that has been dominating not only state politics but also national politics, with even a special envoy in the ranks of External Affairs Minister flying in to apprise the Tamil Nadu chief minister of the steps taken by the Centre on the issue.
The Nadigar Sangam (Artistes'Association) building swarmed with not only actors but also the common people who wanted to have a glimpse of their matinee idols.
The police had a tough time managing the eager onlookers.
Led by South Indian Artistes'Association president, actor-politician R Sarath Kumar, the fast saw good attendance of top stars, including Rajnikant and Kamal Haasan.
Some popular actors such as Ajith Kumar, who keep off such political issues, made available themselves. The directors and some stars had already taken out a rally on October 19 at Rameswaram.
Ajith Kumar and some others had not turned up for the day-long fast held earlier this year in support of Tamil Nadu's right to the Rs 1,334 crore Hogenakkal project in the wake of opposition from Karnataka.
Ajith had in a recent interview to a weekly, expressed his 'concern' for the Tamils in Sri Lanka but played safe when he said he was 'confident that seniors in politics knew how to bring a solution to this issue'.
Saturday's fast lacked spark by way of the speakers underplaying their emotions, courtesy an 'advisory' by Sarath Kumar asking the actors to avoid any controversy.
Directors Ameer and Seeman were arrested last week for making 'inflammatory speeches' at the Rameswaram rally, and the actor apparently did not want his colleagues to face the music from police.
Fiery remarks made by Rajnikant during the fast for Hogenakkal landed him in trouble in his native state Karnataka following which he expressed 'regret'.
Among those who were present for Saturday's fast included actor-politician Vijayakant, Vijay, Vikram, Surya, Silambarasan, Radharavi, Nayantara and many others.
Actors from other states but who regularly work in Tamil films like Jairam and Charanraj were also present
Image: Rajnikanth, Kamal Haasan and Ajit Kumar at the fast on Saturday.