Mrunal Manmay Dash

Amidst the ongoing controversy between Manoj Mishra and the Odia film industry, senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra said that the entire state of Odisha will be divided into two parts if the decision to ban the actor from Ollywood is not revoked immediately.

The senior Congress leader made such statements while addressing a public gathering at Cheliapat Utsav in Bolangir’s Bharasuja on Friday evening.

While the entry of Narasingha Mishra into this controversy seemed unnatural to many, concerns have been expressed by many as they smell a ploy to split the Odia film industry into two parts.

Earlier on Friday, actor Babushaan appealed artistes to put an end to the matter instead of escalating it.

“The discord among artistes should not be taken forward and should be ended immediately. The matter should be sorted out mutually at a personal level. I am hurt after what I saw on social media,” he said.

Babushaan further added, "If sentiments linked to Sambalpur have been bruised, I also tender my apologies."

Responding to Narasingha Mishra’s statements, senior journalist Prasanna Mishra said, “It is really unfortunate to see regionalism and separatist ideologies being forced into Odisha through Ollywood. Narasingha Mishra is a politician and he should refrain from commenting such things in the greater interest of the State and Ollywood as a whole.”

“There is nothing like Western Odisha movies and Eastern Odisha movies. We are all one entity and belong to Ollywood. Narasingha Mishra’s statement will only fuel the regionalism and it should be condemned,” he added.

Senior actor and Odisha Film Development Corporation (OFDC) President, Kuna Tripathy said, "I am really hurt by the way things have spiralled into a conytroversy. Ollywood is a family. And I do not like outsiders (Narasingha Mishra) fueling the dispute by putting ghee on it. There is an Artist's Association in Odisha in which all these disputes are raised and resolved. I call upon both the parties to come to the office and discuss the matter. I am sure the dispute will be resolved within 2-3 days."

A few days ago, some cinema producers held a meeting and revealed about a campaign to boycott movie Ram in Sambalpur. The producers claimed that it was Manoj Mishra who engineered a protest against the movie in Sambalpur as Manoj had some differences of opinion with actor Jitu Mangaraj.

At the meeting, actor Arindam Roy alleged that Jitu Mangaraj had spoken against Manoj Mishra before the media. Protesting this, some people threatened the producers not to allow the release of their films featuring Jitu Manjaraj in cinema halls in Sambalpur or western Odisha as a whole.

Later, Sanjay Nayak, president of the Utkal Cine Chambers of Commerce (UCCC), said that Manoj Mishra was responsible for the protest against Ram film in Sambalpur and all producers decided to not sign Manoj Mishra in their future projects for a period of two years.

When asked about the entire controversy, actor Manoj Mishra said, “This controversy revolving around my movie ‘Mind Game’ is a result of envy and jealousy. Those people who have banned me have not done anything in their lives, let alone a meaningful film. Their films are much inferior to my movie ‘Mind Game’ in terms of quality. That is why they conspired against me and stopped screening my movie.”

However, Mishra very conveniently avoided commenting anything on the senior Congress leader and MLA Narasingha Mishra’s comments.