Gokak agitation to be explored in Ganesh-starrer Geetha
The director, Vijay Naagendra, tells us his film is as much about the love for the Kannada language as it is about the love between two people
The makers of Geetha released a teaser on Monday, ahead of lead actor Ganesh’s birthday, which he celebrates today. Going by the glimpses, the film throws light on an important episode, the Gokak agitation, which is being explored for the first time in Kannada cinema.
Vijay Naagendra, who is making his directorial debut with Geetha, says that the subject is not just about love blossoming between a boy and a girl. One of the episodes in the narration explains the love a person has for the language too.
“Ganesh’s character is a hardcore Kannadiga, and we have shot an episode revolving around the agitation. This occurred when the Karnataka government allowed children to take up any language of their choice as a first language, out of Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. It was a free option, but this did not go down well with Gokak and a few others,” Naagendra explains.
The writers wanted the government to scrap the policy and make Kannada the first language, but they were not taken seriously. They then started looking for a known face for their agitation when they managed to get the support of Dr Rajkumar who lent his support.
“His support made the difference and the government accepted the proposal,” says Naagendra, who is happy to explore this episode in his film. “It is definitely to enlighten people of this generation who are unaware of this agitation.”
The filmmaker goes on to say, “I want to clarify that Geetha is not just a love story between a boy and a girl, but also about the love for Kannada language. It is one of the reasons why Ganesh also wears a Kannada flag as his badge.”
Naagendra also reveals that Geetha will carry the shadow of the legend Shankar Nag. “He was a visionary and a fighter, who was proud to be a Kannadiga and spread the language. That’s why we thought it was apt to blend Shankar Nag’s characterisation into Ganesh’s,” he says.
The film, made under the actor’s home banner, Golden Films, in association with producer Syed Salaam Geetha, marks the debut of Parvarthy Arun and Prayaga Martin in Kannada. It also features Shanvi Srivastava in a pivotal role.
Currently in the post production stage, the film, which has music by V Harikrishna and cinematography by Sreesha Kuduvalli, has support from director Santhosh Ananddramm.