Home » Actors, Singers, Musicians, etc. – they also have families to feed

Actors, Singers, Musicians, etc. – they also have families to feed

by Rinku Khumukcham
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Actors, Singers, Musicians, etc. – they also have families to feed

The ongoing turmoil in Manipur has cast a pervasive impact on the entire populace, cutting across diverse professions and means of livelihood. Notably exempt from this collective distress are certain politicians, who, regrettably, have failed to swiftly harness their capabilities to quell the current conflict— a direct consequence of their inefficacy.
Among the sectors hit hardest since the outbreak of violence on May 3 is the vibrant film and entertainment industry of Manipur. This realm, where countless individuals derive their sustenance from artistic endeavors, finds itself grappling with unprecedented challenges. The plight extends beyond the performers to encompass numerous ancillary roles vital to the industry’s functioning.
Within the realm of cinema halls, the repercussions are acutely felt by those engaged in ticket sales, projectionist duties, ticket checking, and various other indispensable roles. The once-thriving ecosystem now stands in jeopardy, leaving many to ponder the uncertain fate of their livelihoods. The pressing question remains: in the midst of this turmoil, what will be the fate of those individuals who depend on the film and entertainment sectors for their sustenance?
Despite the prevailing sentiment that prioritizes other professions as more substantial avenues for livelihood and family support, individuals employed in the film and entertainment sectors of Manipur often find themselves relegated to the role of mere entertainers in the eyes of many. It is imperative to challenge and reshape this perception for a more enlightened path forward.
Much like doctors who ply their trade to earn a living while tending to patients, actors in Manipur engage in their craft as a means to provide for their families. Unlike their counterparts in Bollywood, the financial gains for Manipuri actors and singers are meagre at best. Many contend with the challenge of maintaining a ‘star’ status by resorting to thrift stores for wardrobe essentials, a stark contrast to the glitzy image often associated with the film industry.
Adding to the adversity, Manipur boasts only a handful of film theaters, and their prolonged closure over several months raises pressing concerns for both employees and owners alike. While a few cinema halls in Imphal operate under individual ownership, Tanthapolis Cinema in Lamphel Sanakeithel stands as an exception, managed by Tantha Entertainment Private Limited Company through a rental agreement. The owners of this cinema undertook renovation endeavors with loans from banks, a decision that now looms large as the prolonged closure has led to substantial debts owed to financial institutions.
The impact extends beyond the owners to encompass the employees of Tanthapolis Cinema, who grapple with the harsh realities of prolonged inactivity and dwindling income due to the ongoing conflict. The repercussions of the crisis are not only financial but also reverberate through the fabric of the local film and entertainment community, necessitating thoughtful intervention and support to navigate these challenging times.
People working in the film and entertainment industries have endured a lot, and the current situation demands the understanding of all people nestled in the beautiful state that those in this sector are striving to sustain their livelihoods. Films are not always about entertainment. Some groups and organizations advocate for free education, free from bandh and other forms of protest, emphasizing that children are the future of the country. However, we failed to acknowledge that many students are actors’ children or singers’ children. So, if the public imposed a ban on their filming and premiering films in cinema halls, how would their parents be able to send their kids to school?
While the current tumultuous times may not permit the unrestricted organization of concerts or film premieres across the state, advocating for the limited premiering of films in select cinema halls appears to be a reasonable compromise, given the hardships faced by those in the film and entertainment sector. However, amid these immediate concerns, it is clear that Manipur requires a lasting solution. To achieve this, a united front is essential. Citizens must collectively exert pressure on the government to implement permanent resolutions.
The potential consequences of unrest, with people losing their lives, extend beyond those directly involved in the film and entertainment industries, affecting the entire population. In the face of the current crisis, the focus should shift from the temporary measure of reopening a few cinema halls to a united protest aimed at compelling the government to institute positive and enduring changes. Six and a half months of upheaval are more than enough; the time has come to harness the power of the people to ensure lasting peace, allowing everyone to pursue their professions without hindrance. The urgency of the moment demands a united and focused effort to bring about positive change and restore stability to Manipur.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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