Dam 999 director Sohun Roy is caught between a battle of two states Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The 116 year old Mullaperiyar Dam has been the bone of contention between the governments of the southern states.
The Kerala authorities had wanted to reduce the dam’s current 136 feet mark to 120 feet because they felt the dam was in a dilapidated state. But the Supreme Court has denied the need to lower the water levels.
Sohun’s film, despite being based on a dam in China, has been facing allegations from the Tamil Nadu government that the movie reflects Kerala’s propaganda, and has banned the film’s release in the state.
“They believe that this movie has the potential to trigger riots in Tamil Nadu, and the agitation of people who want to resolve the dam’s safety issue, will get stronger,” says Sohun, adding, “There are 4000 similar outdated dams across the world. My film is meant to caution people about the harm such weak dams can cause. Dam 999 shows the disaster that follows the collapse of a dam in China. I have no political agenda.”
Sohun had filed a case in the Supreme Court to get the ban on his film in Tamil Nadu lifted. The court has directed the state’s government to discuss the matter with him and decide by December 16.
The director rues, “I went to Chennai for this discussion but they were only interested in questioning me about my visit to Mullaperiyar agitation site, where I went last week. It’s my fundamental right to visit an agitation site. I haven’t done anything against the constitution of India.”
Sohun plans to go on a hunger strike on December 18 at the controversial dam site if the ban gets extended “I’m unsure about his film’s release because the Supreme Court goes on a fortnight’s annual leave from December 16. The film’s fate may not be decided till January 3.”