KFCC’s new chief revives dubbing controversy, activists wage a Twitter war

BENGALURU: Within two days of taking charge as the President of Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce, S A Chinne Gowda has landed in a controversy. The newly-elected chief’s stand on dubbing led to a massive outrage on social media by activists and members of Kannada Grahakara Koota- a forum fighting for dubbing entertainment content, including films, into Kannada.

Thousands of tweets with #KFIKannadaDroha #DubbingBeku topped trends on Thursday in a clear message to the film body.
“The newly elected KFCC President has said that he is against dubbing. The Supreme Court has passed an order allowing dubbed content in Kannada and he has no locus standi on the matter. These statements are clearly to arm-twist studios to stop them from dubbing content into Kannada,” Ganesh Chetan, President of  Kannada Grahakara Koota told The New Indian Express.

The forum initiated the social media campaign against Chinne Gowda after he told the media that people should watch films in original languages and that he personally opposed dubbing. Gowda essentially revived a long-drawn controversy overdubbing in Kannada even as language rights activists have been writing to TV stations promoting dubbed content.

When contacted, Gowda refused to comment on the controversy and cited legal issues. “The matter is in court and I wouldn’t like to speak on behalf of the chamber of commerce on it. The issue of dubbing is creating a lot of problems for us and anything that we say is dragged to court,” S A Chinne Gowda, President Karnataka Film Chamber and Commerce said. The controversy overdubbing content from other languages to Kannada has been raging on for six years now with the film chamber, artists association and producers association vehemently opposing it while citizens’ rights groups are battling for it.

“This is a Cartel versus common man battle. Through the social media campaign, we wanted to repeat the common man’s stand in the issue. Language rights have to be protected and people should be allowed to choose what language they want to watch a content in,” Ganesh Chetan added. Despite a Supreme Court order allowing dubbed content in Kannada, Chetan said that powerful lobbies have stalled dubbing of films, serials, cartoons, entertainment and infotainment content from other languages into Kannada.

It did not take too long for the social media war to catch the eyes of political leaders. BJP’s MLA C T Ravi jumped into the bandwagon and took to Twitter to slam Cinne Gowda. “How can few individuals decide what Kannadigas should watch or not watch? If You can’t make better films who are you to stop People from watching other language movies in Kannada?” CT Ravi tweeted.

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