05 Feb 2023

I'd do nothing to hurt my Tamil fans: Madhavan

Mumbai Multilingual actor R. Madhavan, who was conspicuous by his absence at the 11th International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards, says he makes sure that he doesn't do anything that hurts the sentiments of his Tamil fans. "I wouldn't like to get into the politics of it because I'm an apolitical person. Even when I did 'Kannathil Muthamital', which had a bearing on LTTE activities, I did it for the love of Mani Ratnam, not politics. But yes I'd do nothing to hurt the sentiments of my Tamil fans. There were hundreds of messages on Twitter and the SMS imploring me to stay away from IIFA this year," said Madhavan. In fact, to show his solidarity with the Tamil community, Madhavan along with Kamal Haasan held the 'mahurat' of their new Tamil film "Manmadanambu" in Chennai June 3 when all of the Indian film industry headed for Colombo for IIFA. When Madhavan had done Ratnam's "Kannathil Muthamital" on the workings and emotional pressures caused by the LTTE activities, his Tamil fans, whose network spreads from Tamil Nadu to Singapore to the US, were pleased by their hero's participation in a film that seemed to be a rare cinematic voice trying to understand their cause. Many Bollywood stars skipped IIFA this year including its brand ambassador Amitabh Bachchan as well as superstar Shah Rukh Khan and according to reports, they gave it a miss following a boycott call from the south Indian film industry. A statement issued by the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce had said that southern stars and filmmakers would boycott all Bollywood stars who attend the IIFA in Colombo from June 3-5. They have been campaigning against the island government and the alleged killing of civilian Tamils during the conflict between Sri Lankan army and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Significantly, after hits like "3 Idiots" in Hindi Maddy has gone back to Tamil cinema on his Tamil fans' say-so. "I kept getting hate messages about why I wasn't doing Tamil films. I hadn't done a Tamil film for a while. As for Hindi cinema, I've just completed 'Tanu Weds Manu', which is turned out really well," says the actor who turned 40 June 1. "On my birthday my wife and I headed for Pune to play golf with all my old friends. My wife is a really good golfer. She can beat me at the game any time. After playing the whole day, we headed back to Mumbai to our favourite restaurant. Satiated with Japanese wine we headed home..."