Screening of Marathi movie stopped after pro-Kannada groups’ protest

Published on Sep 16, 2022 11:25 PM IST

Pro-Kannada groups submitted a memorandum to police, stating that some scenes in the movie were offensive to the people of Karnataka.

The movie was released in neighbouring Maharashtra on Friday. (AFP Representational photo)
The movie was released in neighbouring Maharashtra on Friday. (AFP Representational photo)
By, Belagavi

The screening of a Marathi movie, “Boyz 3”, was stopped in Belagavi on Friday over possibility of linguistic tensions in the border district, the district administration said.

A pro-Kannada group protested against the screening of the movie in the district and submitted a memorandum to police, stating that some scenes in the movie were offensive to the people of Karnataka.

“If police did not stop screening of the movie, we would have protested outside theatres and stopped it from playing in theatres,” said Ganesh Rokade of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, a pro-Kannada group.

The movie was released in neighbouring Maharashtra on Friday.

In one scene of the film, three youngsters arrive in Belagavi and visit a police station where they are told to either speak in Kannada or English to which they respond: “Where can we speak Marathi if not in Belgaum (Belagavi).”

Belagavi and other parts of northern Karnataka have witnessed several clashes in the past over language issue as a large number of people living in the area are Marathi speakers as these regions were earlier part of the Bombay presidency which were later included in Karnataka in the reorganisation of states in 1956.

Belagavi police commissioner MB Boralingaiah appealed for calm after threats of protests by pro-Kannada groups. “Police viewed the video clips of the movie and have stopped it from being shown in theatres as it has objectionable dialogues which could lead to protest throughout the state,” the commissioner said.

The Everest Entertainment Movies produced movie has Parth, Prathik, Sumanth and Vidhula in prominent roles. The movie was directed by Vishal Devrukhakar.

A decade ago, anoter Marathi movie “Yellur-Maharashtra Rajya” that had a scene in which the entrance of a village in Belagavi indicates that it was in Maharashtra.

Yellur, a village located about 5 km from Belagavi city, has a large number of Marathi speakers and they had installed a board with “Jai Maharashtra” written on it and below, “Yellur - Maharashtra Rajya” (means Yellur in Maharashtra state).

In the first week of September, pro-Kannada organisations in Belagavi district had threatened to carry out agitations against the “inaction” by the BJP government to take measures to resolve the decades-old border dispute with Maharashtra, HT reported on September 3.

Two days later, the Basavaraj Bommai government assured to appoint a legal expert’s team to resolve the border row with Maharashtra as the Supreme Court is expected to hear the case again on November 23.

Language has dominated politics and social life in these parts of Karnataka where a large section of Marathi speakers continues to demand inclusion into Maharashtra, fueling tensions and shaping discourse in the region for over six decades. Over the years, there have been protests even for ensuring only Kannada on Bus Boards which earlier sported Marathi as well.

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