On the eve of the Opposition-sponsored ‘Bharat Bandh’ on Thursday in all the States and Union Territories, most parts of the country witnessed complete standstill of commercial activities with academic institutions announcing holiday so as to enable school children to remain in the safe confines of their respective houses. In Karnataka, the ruling BJP which is the main opposition at the Centre, the ‘bandh’ was near complete.
Divya Spandana (‘Kuthu’ Ramya for Tamil audiences) started the shooting schedule of an untitled Kannada film at the famous Lalitha Mahal Palace in Mysore. The film, directed by Koti Ramakrishna, was to commence at 08:00 a.m. for which the crew had started the preparatory work from early in the morning so as to keep the ‘sets’ ready by the time the artistes arrived.
When Divya arrived at the spot at around 09:30 a.m. for the shoot, a group of BJP activists approached her and requested her to cancel the day’s shoot as ‘Bharat Bandh’ was being observed across the country. They tried to reason with her saying that even the cinema halls remained closed on that day and asked her to canel the day’s shoot.
Strongly opposing their viewpoint, Divya said that it wasn’t economically feasible to cancel the shoot as it might affect the daily wages of as many as 150 employees. Divya, who is a functionary in the Youth Congress in the State, wasn’t relenting despite sustained argument between her and the activists.
Situation was getting serious with the activists and the crew getting ready for a ‘minor’ clash.
Divya finally had her say and didn’t heed the request of the BJP activists and termed the ‘bandh’ as uncalled for as it was only troubling the public. Readers might recall that Divya is the grand-daughter of S.M. Krishna, the Union external affairs minister.