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Chinmayi Granted Interim Stay On Ban From Dubbing Union; Says It’s An Uphill Task Ahead

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Singer and voice artiste Chinmayi Sripaada was granted an interim stay on her ban from the dubbing union by a civil court in Chennai on Friday. While this has come as a hopeful news for Chinmayi, she believes that it is going to be an uphill task from here, with union president Radha Ravi taking every possible step to not let her back until she apologised.

Speaking to Silverscreen, she said, “He (Radha Ravi) sent me a caveat from the Madras High Court first, so I don’t get a stay and start working without letting him know. We took our time and went to city civil court instead, and he thought I wouldn’t consider going to the civil court, and he forgot about it. But now I definitely think that he’s not going to take any of this lying down.”

She said that Radha Ravi and other members of the union expected her to pay Rs 1.5 lakh, and give an apology letter in person, as they had said in a press meet in the past. When asked if she could attend the union’s general body meetings and other activities now, Chinmayi said, “During the stay, yes, but they will not let me know about the general body meetings. And even though I have the stay, they’ll tell others that if they worked with Chinmayi, the union members will not co-operate with them.”

This was also the case with members like Booma Subbarao who had been reinstated by the court after a ban from the union. Booma had earlier said that even after the court’s order asking for her reinstation, the union appealed against her again, and no work had come her way. Chinmayi said that the PR officers who received projects for the artistes from filmmakers, were also under pressure from the union. “Because of a nexus between Radha Ravi and the PROs, the PR persons will have to listen to what Radha Ravi says, and they will not go against him and give Booma work.”

Presently, 12 people, including two PROs, have been banned from the union for various reasons. Chinmayi, who has been a life-time member of the South Indian Cine Television Artistes and Dubbing Artistes Union, since she first paid her membership fee in 2006, was removed by the union head Radha Ravi in December 2018. She was banned on grounds that she had not paid a ‘subscription fee’, with no further explanation.

Her termination came weeks after she accused lyricist Vairamuthu in the #MeToo movement, and supported those accusing Radha Ravi for alleged sexual harassment and misdemeanor. She, along with Booma Subbarao, Dasarthy and a few other members, later called out Radha Ravi and the union for various irregularities like the pending legal cases, absence of Internal Complaints Committee, and the union’s deduction of 10 percent from their income on every project, which was not recorded on paper.

She said, “I think from one person if it has become 12 people who have filed various cases against the union, then it is in the best interest of the union to drop its cases against them, get some solution in place, and not have this ego which is bigger than people’s interests. Radha Ravi is basically wasting the money (on legal cases) that all of us have been paying the union as fees. He is promising he is using it for welfare activities.”

Image Courtesy: MovieGalleri.net

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