Top Tollywood stars face ire of pro-Telangana groups

Thursday, December 17, 2009

HYDERABAD - The Telugu film industry has landed in a crisis with pro-Telangana activists stopping the screening of movies of actors opposing the proposed separate statehood to the region.

With leading lights of Telugu cinema joining the bandwagon for “United Andhra”, Telanagana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and student groups have “banned” the screening of films starring them or their family members across the region.

Actor-turned-politician K. Chiranjeevi is facing the ire of pro-Telangana groups for his volte-face on Telangana issue.

With the actor deciding to oppose the division of the state, protestors in Hyderabad and nine other districts of Telangana region stopped the screening of films of his son and other family members.

The films of veteran actor-producers Mohan Babu and N. Harikrishna and their family members are also being targeted after they joined the “United Andhra” movement.

With almost all the top film personalities coming from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions, Tollywood, the Telugu film industry which is the second biggest after Bollywood, is facing the threat of a total boycott in Telangana.

Alarmed over the developments, Tollywood has postponed release of films scheduled for this month and early January.

It all started Wednesday when Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) floated by Chiranjeevi decided to reverse its stand for a separate Telangana state.

Bowing to pressure from 14 legislators of the party who have already submitted their resignations to the assembly speaker, Chiranjeevi decided to quit and join the “United Andhra” movement.

PRP has 18 legislators in the 294-member assembly and 16 of them including Chiranjeevi come from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions.

The superstar overnight became a villain for pro-Telangana groups as they burnt his effigies and attacked theatres showing films of his son Ram Charan Teja and nephew Allu Arjun.

Theatres in several districts stopped screening of “Arya” starring Allu Arjun on their own. Allu Arjun is the son of PRP general secretary Allu Aravind, who is also a film producer and brother-in-law of Chiranjeevi.

Films of Chiranjeevi’s actor brothers Pavan Kalyan and Naga Babu also face boycott in the region.

There was more to come as Mohan Babu, a former MP, decided to join the “United Andhra” agitation and sit on hunger strike.

The protestors reacted with attacks on theatres screening “Saleem”, the film starring his son Manchu Vishnu.

Cardboard cutouts of popular actor Junior NTR were set on fire. The demonsrators decided to stop screening of his upcoming film “Adurs” to protest the decision of his father and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader N. Harikrishna to quit the Rajya Sabha in support of “United Andhra”.

Filed under: Bollywood, Movies, Tollywood

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