Sathyadev IPS
PR Handout

Ajith Kumar's Sathyadev IPS, the dubbed Kannada version of Tamil film Yennai Arindhaal, was not released in most of the places in Karnataka following protests by the anti-dubbing groups. The movie was credited to be the first big non-Kannada film to be dubbed into Sandalwood since 1960s and the distributor had planned to release the flick in 60 screens.

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As no single screens agreed to run the film, the release of the movie in Bengaluru was put on hold and the distributor had planned to release Sathyadev IPS in places like Hubballi, Davangere, etc. But anti-dubbing groups intensified the protest before the theatres, which had decided to go ahead with the release.

Roopam theatre in Hubballi, Uma theatre in Mysuru and Union Theatre in Chitradurga cancelled the shows of Sathyadev IPS in the last minute following protests. However, the film has been released in Suchitra theatre, which has 902 seats, in Mangaluru and 16 people watched the morning show.

There has been an unofficial ban on dubbing in Kannada since 1960s with the backing of the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) took up the case a few years ago following the complaint filed by the Grahakara Okkuta. It had overturned the ban, calling it "illegal."

Since then, the attempts were made to dub movies in Kannada. The anti-dubbing lobbies have the backing of several Kannada stars and writers and have so far succeeded in preventing the release of dubbed movies in the state.