July 1, 2010

I am just an artist, not a politician

Asin is now shooting with Salman Khan in Colombo for Anees Bazmee's Ready remake from Telugu. It has set alarm bells ringing in Kollywood as any association with Sri Lanka is considered taboo in the industry.

The unit who were originally planning to shoot the film in Mauritius, changed locations at the last minute as the Sri Lankan Government rolled out the red carpet for Salman Khan who attended the IIFA.

Please note that a raging controversy was going on in Kollywood over Bollywood stars taking part in the recent IIFA Awards held in Colombo. The South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce (SIFCC) even passed a resolution banning the films of all the stars who went to Sri Lanka. Hrithik Roshan’s Kites was pulled off from Chennai screens as he attended IIFA.

Asin going to Colombo has raised a hue and cry by pro- Tamil groups, which will have its repercussions on Kavalkaran. Nadigar Sangam Secretary Radha Ravi in an interview has said: “Nadigar Sangam will be meeting to take a call on the Asin issue shortly.”

Following these developments, Asin in an exclusive interview spoke to Sridevi Sreedhar from Colombo.

You met the media in Sri Lanka? Please comment?
Yes, There was a press meet arranged by the film unit here and I explained my stand on the issue.

There is a raging controversy back home in Tamil Nadu on your decision to shoot for Ready in Sri Lanka. Please comment.
I am just an actress. A leading lady doesn’t have a say in deciding the shooting location of a film. That is the call of the producer and director I did express my concern to them but the final call rests with them. I am just doing my work, being professional and honouring the commitment I had made to the makers of the film.

What is your take on the issue?
I feel that art is something that brings people together and promotes peace. It’s something that is positive. The Tamil population in Sri Lanka have really supported and encouraged my films and work. I take this as an opportunity to reach out to them and meet them. In these difficult times that they have been through, if that brings a smile on their faces that’s the least that I can do.

Do you think that the whole issue is highly politicised?
I would leave politics to politicians. I am just an artist not a politician and would not like to be dragged into any controversy. Last month, our Indian cricket team played for Asia cup in Sri Lanka and on Sunday, Indian Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma arrived in Colombo for a five-day official tour. There are six flights from Chennai to Sri Lanka and hundreds of Indian tourists are coming to Sri Lanka every day. I am here to do my job and I feel that sports and art should not be politicised.

Did you meet the Tamil population and your fans in Sri Lanka?
Yes. Tamil population has always encouraged my work. They were so happy to see me and my interaction with them brought a smile on their faces.