Lok Sabha Elections 2024, Tamil Nadu, Tamil cinema, Dravidian movementTamil Cinema Politics
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With the Lok Sabha Elections 2024 looming, the political fervor in Tamil Nadu is palpable, deeply ingrained in its cultural and cinematic fabric.

Tamil cinema has played a pivotal role in shaping the political landscape, particularly during the 1960s and 1970s. Rooted in Dravidian ideology, Tamil films served as potent vehicles for political messaging, championing themes of empowerment, self-respect, and social commentary.

The Dravidian movement leveraged cinema as a propaganda tool, promoting Tamil nationalism and advocating for the rights of the marginalized. Periyar EV Ramasamy’s “Dravidar Kazhagam,” which celebrates its 80th anniversary in 2024, laid the foundation for the ascendance of political giants like MG Ramachandran, M Karunanidhi, CN Annadurai, and J Jayalalithaa.

Indeed, Tamil Nadu has witnessed five chief ministers emerging from the realm of cinema, each leaving an indelible mark on both the silver screen and the political arena. Karunanidhi, with his unparalleled screenplays and linguistic prowess, epitomized the fusion of cinema and ideology.

However, navigating the intersection of politics and cinema is not without its challenges. Films addressing sensitive issues or critiquing the establishment often face censorship hurdles. Yet, some filmmakers courageously tackle pertinent societal issues, offering thought-provoking narratives that resonate with audiences.

Renowned director K Balachander’s films exemplify this ethos. “Thanneer Thanneer” (1981) sheds light on political corruption’s impact on ordinary citizens, while “Achamillai Achamillai” (1984) satirizes the Indian political system’s complexities.

Despite obstacles, Tamil cinema continues to be a catalyst for political discourse, providing a platform for dissent and reflection on societal realities. As the nation awaits the election results, the legacy of Tamil cinema as a voice for the marginalized and a mirror to society remains ever-relevant.

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By Alwin Santhosh


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