'When 15% of the population in the state can't afford to buy milk, this senseless wasting of thousands of litres of milk should not be tolerated.'
'Roughly between 50,000 to 75,000 litres of milk is wasted every time the movie of a popular hero releases.'
If you're a Rajinikanth super-fan, and want to perform pal abhishekam to his cutout on Friday, July 22, when Kabali releases, it may be time to give it a pass.
The wastage of gallons of milk has not gone down well with the Tamil Nadu Milk Dealers Employees Welfare Association.
Association President S A Ponnusamy feels the superstar should intervene and stop his fans from behaving in such a socially irresponsible manner.
"When 15 percent of the population in the state cannot afford to buy milk, this senseless wasting of thousands of litres of milk should not be tolerated. Roughly between 50,000 to 75,000 litres of milk is wasted every time the movie of a popular hero releases," he says.
"Who is answerable for such irresponsible behaviour? Rajinikanth is a huge star who inspires unquestioned loyalty from his fans. They follow his every movement. He has a responsibility to these youngsters, he should guide them on the right path," he asserts.
He is also worried about milk packets being robbed by miscreants with no consideration for the plight of the dealers.
"Vijay also commands a large fan following. During the release of his last film Theri in April, many of our dealers in Madurai, Tirunelveli and Coimbatore complained of the theft of milk packets in the early hours of the morning," he says.
"We complained to the police who refused to take us seriously. We also brought the matter to the attention of the Vijay fan club and the Nadigar Sangam (South Indian Film Artistes' Association), but both chose to ignore us," he complains.
The Rajini Fan Club has been relatively more helpful, he says, "We had a meeting with some members of the fan club and they promised to spread the message through their Twitter page. They also told us that Rajinikanth was not interested in such displays of devotion and has repeatedly asked them to avoid it."
Ponnusamy believes Rajinikanth addressing the issue through the media will have more impact.
He has other suggestions for the fans to celebrate the occasion.
"We suggested that they organise blood and eye donation camps at theatre premises during the release of every new film. Providing counseling against the use of tobacco and alcohol will also create a positive impact," he says.
"They can perhaps purchase the milk and distribute it to children in slums. If they don't want to do that, they can at least boil it and serve it to people who come to watch the film," he says.
"Where is the logic behind pouring gallons of milk down a huge cutout? How can this bring them or Rajinikanth any happiness?" he asks.
"We are not looking to malign anyone's name or create unnecessary problems during the release. We believe this would be the right time to create awareness about a serious issue. Rajinikanth is a superstar who is worshipped by his fans. He holds sway over millions and I hope he will come forward to address the matter."