'Today, these fringe groups are demanding that Rajni sir's film be stopped.'
'What is there to stop them from doing the same with more films in the future?'
Despite the resistance to Kaala in Karnataka, Rajinikanth is making sure to promote his new film.
The superstar attended an event in Hyderabad with his co-stars Huma Qureshi and Esawari Rao, Director Pa Ranjith and son-in-law Dhanush, who is producing the film.
Attempts to stop Kaala from releasing in Karnataka are seen by actor-activist Vishal Krishna, who heads the Tamil Nadu Films Producers Council, as an attempt to gain visibility by certain sections.
"I urge the honourable chief minister of Karnataka to intervene and sort out the matter," says Vishal. "What is happening to Kaala can set a dangerous precedent."
"Today, these fringe groups are demanding that Rajni sir's film be stopped. What is there to stop them from doing the same with more films in the future?" Vishal asks.
As far as speaking up on the Cauvery waters issue is concerned, Vishal says, "It is my Constitutional right to speak about the welfare of my state. Rajini sir has said nothing offensive and yet, his film is being stopped."
"I was far more vocal about the Cauvery issue. I went to Bengaluru and asked for water for Tamil Nadu. It is my Constitutional right to ask for water and their right to refuse it."
There was no backlash in Karnataka against Vishal's film Irumbu Thirai, which released in May.
"Irumbu Thirai is running to packed houses in Karnataka," he adds. "They never stopped my film in spite of my stance on the Cauvery issue. They are obviously choosing the big film with the biggest star for attention."
Dhanush and his wife Aishwarya have filed a petition in the Karnataka high court seeking directions to the state government and the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce for the smooth release of Kaala, which is scheduled to release on June 7.
The Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce had said the film would neither be distributed nor screened in the state.
In the plea, Dhanush submitted that it is the petitioners' fundamental right under the Constitution to exhibit the film.
'The CBFC (Central Board Of Film Certification) has issued a certification under Section 5B of the Cinematograph Act, 1952, for the release of Kaala after following due process and adhering to all guidelines. After receiving such a certificate, it is the fundamental right of the petitioner under Article 19(1) of the Constitution to exhibit the film,' the petitioners submitted.
The petitioners also have sought security at theatres and for movie-goers, directors, producers and cast associated with Kaala in Karnataka.
The petitioners stated that the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce took a decision to neither distribute nor screen Kaala in Karnataka following Rajinikanth's alleged views on the Cauvery dispute, demanding release of water to Tamil Nadu as per the Supreme Court direction.
Meanwhile, Prakash Raj has questioned the ban on Kaala in Karnataka.
'What's film #kaala got to do with Kaveri issue..? why is film fraternity targeted always..? Will Jds/congress government let fringe elements take law into their hands... like bjp did with #Padmavat.. or ..will you step in to assure common man.. his right for choice. #justasking..,' Prakash Raj tweeted.
'Who are these people to decide what most Kannadigas want or don't want?' Prakash Raj asked in a statement.
'What about the distributors, investors and theatre owners and the thousands of those whose lives depend on them? And what about the lakhs and lakhs of cinema lovers because of whom, all these people earn a living?'
Subhash K Jha, with inputs from PTI