One often thinks that discriminations and prejudiced acts only happen in rural areas or ones that are still progressing, of course, the metro and urban regions are considered to be the more accepting and modern ones that focus on equality for all.

However, that clearly seems to be not the case after an incident went viral where a tribal family belonging to a certain ST community was denied entry leading to a lot of outrage.

What Happened?

The incident took place at the Rohini Theatre in Chennai, where actor Silambarasan’s Tamil film Pathu Thala among others was released on 30th March 2023.

The theatre’s FDFS (first-day first show) starts with special early morning screenings that see a good turnout, but it was during this that a tribal family, reportedly belonging to the Narikurava tribe bought tickets to Pathu Thala just like other people.

The family, however, was stopped from entering the theatre leading to a lot of outrage even at the premises itself, and after some time the staff let the family enter.

Clips of the incident ended up going viral with various Twitter users sharing it and calling out the theatre for discrimination. In the clips going around a woman and her young children are seen being denied entry by the theatre staff despite having a valid ticket.

It can be seen that other people are allowed entry, however, the staff just shakes his hand in a classic ‘no’ movement not letting her in.

Several actors like Vijay Sethupathi, Kamal Haasan and more spoke out against the treatment and condemned it. Sethupati said that “This kind of oppression is totally unacceptable. The earth was created for all human beings to live together equally. We must stand up to whoever oppresses another human being.”

Kamal Haasan tweeted about it writing “Despite having tickets, nomadic tribal were denied entry into the theatre hall. They were allowed only after protests on social media. This is reprehensible.”

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Filmmaker Vetri Maaran also wrote about it in a Facebook post that “100 years ago, theatres stopped practicing untouchability. It is a dangerous trend to practice untouchability by not allowing the working class inside the hall. Even though they were allowed inside the theatre later, it is strongly condemnable that such an incident happened.”

Clarification Not Liked

On 30th March soon after the incident blew up, the theatre released an official statement about what happened and why the entry was denied.

It said “We have taken note of the situation that has unfolded in our premises today morning before the screening of Pathu Thala Movie. A few individuals along with their children with valid tickets have sought entry to the cinema to watch ‘Pathu Thala’ movie.

As we know, the movie is censored U/A by the authorities. Children below the age of 12 can not be permitted to watch any movie that is certified U/A as per the law. Our ticket-checking staff has denied entry on this basis to the family who had come with children aged 2, 6, 8 and 10.”


The statement finished with “However since the audience gathered turned into a frenzy and took a different perspective of the situation without full understanding, in order to avert any law and order problem and to desensitivise the matter, the same family was allowed entry to watch the movie on time.”

However, even in this some people pointed out that their reasons were not valid, one Twitter user writing “According to the Cinematograph (Certification) Rules, 1983; U/A certified films can be watched by children below 12 years of age if their parents allow them. Theatre operators have no say in that regard. Why did you give such a flimsy statement?”


Image Credits: Google Images

Feature Image designed by Saudamini Seth

Sources: India Today, The Indian Express, Livemint

Find the blogger: @chirali_08

This post is tagged under: Chennai Theatre tribal family, tribal family, tribal family india, tribal family discrimination, chennai theatre

Disclaimer: We do not hold any right, copyright over any of the images used, these have been taken from Google. In case of credits or removal, the owner may kindly mail us.

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