The decision of the Tamil Nadu government to allow 100 percent occupancy in cinema halls is receiving criticism from those who are concerned about the spread of Covid-19. Reacting to the controversial move, a doctor from the state has penned an open-letter to actors Vijay and Silambarasan and the government of the state.
The doctor named Aravinth Srinivas, who is reportedly a junior resident at Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, has said in the letter that he and other frontline workers, including police officials and sanitary workers, are tired. Aravinth said that they have worked hard at the ground level to keep the damage minimal during an unprecedented pandemic.
He said that they deserve some time to breathe and don’t want to “fall prey to someone’s selfishness and greed.”
Calling a 100 percent theatre occupancy a “suicide attempt,” Aravinth cautioned that people are still dying because of Covid-19. He further added that the decision can be called a “homicide” because politicians and actors are not going to put themselves at risk by watching a movie with the crowd. He said, “This is a blatant barter system, trading lives for money.”
Aravinth said that he wanted to explain why we are still in danger but disappointedly said, “What’s the point.” He signed off the post as “Yours Tiredly, a Resident Doctor.”
The post has attracted the attention of netizens who are concerned about the situation of Covid-19 pandemic in the country and in the state.
Although the original post is currently inaccessible as Aravinth has locked his Facebook profile after the post got viral, its screenshot is circulating widely on social media. Sharing the screenshot of the post, a Twitter user named Joshua Michael said that he is praying for the state.
Many agreed with the user with even some fans of Tamil cinema termed this decision as an unwise move.
The decision by the Tamil Nadu government came after superstar Vijay met with the Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami urging the CM to support the release of his film Master in theatres. Actor Silambarasan had also requested the government to allow theatres to operate with full capacity before the release of his film Eeswaran.
The move brought joy to many of their fans, however, it has left many like Aravinth concerned about the consequences of this decision. Reacting to the news, author and journalist Anna MM Vetticad hit out at Kollywood actors. She said that the actors have prioritised box office collection over public health during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In Tamil Nadu, four people have recently tested positive for the new strain of the coronavirus which originated in the UK. The total number of infected people in the state is over 80,000.