If you consider a film as a work of a performing arts or just a money making exercise for the stars or its producers, you may have to think again. Just within two weeks of its release Dr. Vishnuvardhan-Suhasini starrer Maathaad Maathaadu Mallige directed by Nagathihalli Chandrasekhar and produced by K. Manju has stirred the consciousness and awaken thousands of farmers whose lands are in the process of being acquired by state government or corporates for their projects. It has also led to Dharna programmes and protest rallies organised by farmer organisations. There has been statements for or against the proposed projects with even senior ministers questioning the honesty and motive of the people opposing the projects.
Expressing happiness over these developments, Nagathihalli told the journalists in a press briefing that he has been extremely happy about the response the film has been receiving from the farmers whose lands are being forcibly acquired.
Maathaad Maathaad Mallige was released on August 24 to a good response. The collections of the film have been quite satisfactory and the film may go strong after the festival holidays. “More than its success in the box office, the team of MMM is happy about the kind of response and reactions from the people. It has made a big impact on the people who are fighting against the designs of multinational companies’ said Nagathihalli in a press conference organised on Monday.
The farmer organisations, environmentalists and volunteers of Non Government organisations from different parts of the state have intensified their protests against what they call as forcible acquisition of their lands by the state government.
A week ago more than hundred farmers of Nandagudi town and other villages in Hoskote Taluk of Bangalore district staged a strong Dharna against the proposed SEZ project which may well lead to acquisition of large portions of agricultural lands. The farmer organisations saw the film on that day and staged Dharna in front of the theatre shouting slogans against the Government and the corporate who are trying to acquire land.
The farmers of Chamalapura in Chararajanagar district are also up in arms against a Thermal plant which is going to be established in their village. There is a big protest building up in Chamarajanagar and neighboring districts about this project and now environmentalists have been up in arms against the government. ‘Thousands of farmers who saw the film in Shanthala theatre in Mysore were visibly impressed with the content of the film and said that each of them will fight like Hoovaiah in the film. They have organised a demonstration of farmers on September 12 at Mysore in which literary personalities, environmentalists are participating. We are with the farmers and the film’s producer K. Manju will be representing the entire unit of MMM in Mysore’ says Nagathihalli Chandrasekhar.
Nagathihalli Chandrasekhar further stated that his film was aimed at narrating the ill effects of globalisation and unhindered reforms which is going on without caring for human concerns. However he is fully satisfied as his film has been able to arouse some protests against the forcible acquisition of the farmer's land. Nagathihalli Chandrashekhar has participated in many struggles against environmental degradation and also against globalisation attempts at the cost of welfare of the poor farmers.
Dr. Vishnuvardhan said that he is happy about the way the film is being discussed by some well known technicians outside the state. `I was in Hyderabad to attend the 150 days function of Telugu film Dhee. Veteran director K. Raghavendra Rao and many other Telugu film personalities did inquire me about the film. They said that they were eager to see the film. I am happy that the film has made a big impact among the farmers and people who feel for social concerns’ said Dr. Vishnu.
Producer K. Manju, Actor Rangayana Raghu, Mandya Ramesh, Actor and Art director Arun Sagar were also present in the press conference.