Chennai: Action - a lot of it - between Chennai's movie stars and its media.
Journalists in Chennai want an editor arrested on Wednesday to be released immediately. The Tamil daily, Dinamalar, had published photographs of actresses, insinuating that they are involved in prostitution. Price tags were placed against some of their names.
After protests by the South Indian Film Artistes' Association, B Lenin, the news editor of the paper, was arrested by the police under the Women Harassment Attack. Tamil superstar Rajinikanth welcomed the arrest. "Even if someone is a prostitute please don't publish their photographs when they are arrested. Making them stand, covering their faces, it's so sad to look at those pictures. They don't do it for pleasure, it's for a square of meal they do," he said.
The Madras Union of Journalists has condemned the arrest of Lenin, describing it as "prejudiced and undemocratic." Journalists also blocked traffic on Marina Beach Road on Thursday in protest. "Our stand is very clear. We need the press and the press needs us. But, it should not exceed certain limits of expression in print or visual media," says Association President R Sarathkumar.
He acknowledges that the paper did publish an apology for its controversial report, but says the clarification was "not displayed prominently".
The story in the paper stemmed from the arrest of a TV artist in connection with a prostitution case. She allegedly listed several women actors who she claimed were also involved with prostitution.