In a shocking turn-of-events, the Tamil Nadu government has now allowed 100% seating occupancy in cinema halls. The move comes shortly after actors Vijay and Simbu met Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami. Theatre owners were also present in the meeting. Both Simbu and Vijay have big budget releases coming up soon. The move has received both positive and negative comments from the industry, healthcare workers and social media users.
Reacting to the government's move, a resident doctor- Aravinth Srinivas from Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research in Puducherry -- has written a letter. The letter which has now gone viral is directed to the Tamil Nadu govt and both the actors.
Srinivas wrote, "Dear Actor Vijay sir, Silambarasan sir and the respected government of TamilNadu. I am tired. We are all tired. Thousands of doctors like me are tired. Health care workers are tired. Police officials are tired. Sanitary workers are tired. We have worked so hard at the ground level to make sure the damage done is kept to as low as possible amidst an unprecedented pandemic. I am not glorifying our work for I know there is nothing so great about it to the onlooker's eyes. We don't have cameras in front of us. We don't do stunt sequences. We aren't heroes. But we deserve some time to breathe. We don't want to fall prey to someone's selfishness and greed."
He further wrote, "The pandemic isn't over and we have people dying till today to the disease. A hundred percent theatre occupancy is a suicide attempt. Rather than homicide, for none of the policy makers or the so called heroes are going to put themselves under the pump, to watch the movie amidst the crowd. This is a blatant barter system, trading lives for money. Can we please slowly try and concentrate on our lives and make sure we tide through this pandemic peacefully and not reignite the slowly burning out flame, that is still not completely put out? I wanted to make this post scientific and explain why we are still in danger. But that's when I asked myself, "what's the point?" Yours tiredly - A poor, tired resident doctor."
Soon after the government's decision, actor Arvind Swami tweeted, "There are times when 50% is way better than a 100%. This is one of them."Several health care experts have also raised concerns over the govt's decision. But there's no sign of reversing the decision to fill up the cinema halls.
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