Vishal's political intentions have caused turmoil within the industry; he now needs a new way ahead
Vishal’s political inclination caused turmoil within Tamil Film Producers Council and South Indian Artists Association, and he should now find a new game-plan to tackle the internal politics.
Back to back victories of Vishal at South Indian Artists Association (SIAA) and Tamil Film Producers Council(TFPC) gained him enough prominence and acrimony in Tamil cinema. The actor was instrumental in defeating veterans Sarath Kumar (former President of SIIA) and Thanu (former President of TFPC).
Presently, Vishal acts as the President of TFPC and General Secretary of SIAA which makes him as one of the most influential persons in the Tamil film industry. Everything went well for Vishal until he entered into politics by filing nomination at the RK Nagar by-poll. Vishal’s stint in politics didn't last long because of the discrepancies found in his nomination papers.
Nevertheless, the actor’s political intentions have caused him a huge trouble in the industry.
The General Body meeting of TFPC was held on Sunday under the observation of Retired Judge Ramanathan. The meeting began by honoring veteran producers Muktha Srinivasan, CV Rajendran and Prasad. The controversy started as soon as the organisers played ‘Tamil Thai Vazhthu’ (the State song of Tamil Nadu); producer and actor Mansoor Ali Khan objected the state song being played without having the officer bearers on the stage.
It was TFPC’s former Treasurer Radhakrishnan who first demanded Vishal’s resignation. Radhakrishnan said “TFPC’s bylaw says that the council members should have a friendly equation with the State Government. But Vishal recently criticised TN Government and opposed the ruling party at RK Nagar by-poll, his actions led a tense situation. Subsidies to producers has become doubtful now"
Producer Cheran and a few more members supported Radhakrishnan. When Vishal tried to answer back, he wasn’t allowed and the opposition camp created a hubbub at the meet. When General Secretary proposed to submit the accounts of TFPC, a commotion broke out once again and the organisers ended the meet by playing the National Anthem.
Interacting with the media, Vishal said “Judge Ramanathan monitored all the ruckus happened at the TFPC General Body Meeting. At this juncture, we also thank cops for their protection. A few vested interests allegedly blame us for 7 cr worth corruption but they don't have any proof. Instead of playing the blame game in front of the media, they can come to TFPC’s office and prove. TN Government has passed subsidies for 149 films, don’t know how they will abolish just because I filed nomination at RK Nagar Constituency. TFPC’s bylaw doesn’t restrict me or any member from contesting in elections”.
"We have fulfilled our promises in TFPC and SIAA, a new building for the association will be inaugurated by next December. If there is any violation, we would step down but without any basic proof, can’t resign," he said.
Cheran, who is believed to be a staunch hater of Vishal, said “I can’t reveal the details of what happened at the General Body Meeting. Unlike Vishal, I’m not interested to use media to gain publicity. Vishal failed to respect 409 members, he was scared and abruptly ended the meet. I thought Vishal was a revolutionist but he lost the credibility and shouldn’t open his mouth on any issues”.
Senior actress Radikaa also mocked Vishal’s statement: “Funny to hear President saying, 'If there is a problem, they should come to the office and discuss not go to press'. Sounds familiar? He who knows nothing about respect or protocol, looks like Jekyll and Hyde."
Another big blow for Vishal is that his friend Ponvanannan, Vice President of SIAA, submitted his resignation on Monday. In a detailed letter sent to Nassar, President of SIAA, Ponvannan said he is resigning only because of Vishal’s unannounced political entry.
“When we contested the Nadigar Sangam elections in 2015, it was decided that members who hold high posts in the association shouldn’t associate with any political party. When we met late Chief Minister J Jayalalitha, she praised our decision. We were careful to not have any political colour to our association and met various political leaders like Cho Ramasamy, Karunanithi, and Vijayakanth. But when our General Secretary (Vishal) filed nominations at RK Nagar, I was shocked. I agree that anyone who has right to vote can contest in elections but we came to power only by promising that the office bearers will work without any political influence. But the Secretary’s political entry is contradicting our ideology”, said Ponvannan.
“Vishal’s political ambitions will lead to criticisms on SIAA and I don’t want to be answerable for things which I’m not responsible for. Though I regret to send my resignation without completing the assigned duty, I request the executive committee to discuss and accept my resignation," added Ponvannan.
In a reply to Ponvannan, SIAA said that the executive committee registered Ponvannan’s thoughts but they have given more time for the actor to reconsider his decision. In the executive meeting, Vishal said he didn’t violate the bylaws of the association but promised such situations wouldn’t occur in future.
Insiders murmur is that Vishal’s political inclination caused turmoil within Tamil Film Producers Council and South Indian Artists Association, and he should now find a new game-plan to tackle the internal politics.