The official reason Malayalam Cine Technicians Association (MACTA) is striking is to increase the daily allowances of drivers and spot boys. The unofficial reason is that they want to put a cap on super star movies. To teach the producers a lesson, a strike was called and all production activities halted. Now the leaders of MACTA and the producers at the receiving end are rich that they can live without work. But the poor drivers and spot boys have lost whatever income they were getting.
Such irony is called “sacrifice”. Once upon a time leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Subhash Bose used to lead by example, but now Bisleri drinking leaders who travel in air conditioned cars tell the poor followers what to do. This is similar to how Mammotty whose children live in United States and Britain asks DYFI members to oppose globalization. Fortunately the 100% literacy prevents the ordinary people seeing such blatant hypocrisy.
The MACTA people were willing to talk to the producers, provided the producers agreed to their demands in writing. The producers heard this, thought for a moment, had a good laugh and went inside their air conditioned homes and watched the latest Tamil movies. So all movie production in Kerala has halted and this time for Onam, we will have to watch not just Tamil and Hindi movies, but also Telugu and Bhojpuri movies.
What positive things have these associations done for Malayalam Cinema? The number of movies made are on a decline and theatres are getting converted into marriage halls. A month afer the Vishu season, the main show in Thrissur Ragam is Manikanda, an Arjun movie and the noon show is Chotta Mumbai.
We think all these associations should be demolished, the way Cloud Nine was demolished in Munnar. If three of us want to get together and make movies, we should have the freedom to do so. As per law all that matters is only the Censor Board approval. Extra constitutional authorities like AMMA, MACTAÂ could exist for entertainment purposes and have their beer fests, but should not have any control over who gets to make a movie and release it in the state. Film making should not be held hostage to ego wars of the rich people.
Postscript: Due to the strike Dileep will not be able to release July 4 on July 4. Will he wait till the next year or change the name and release it after the strike?
Update: Better sense prevails! MACTA withdraws strike.