Election Results and Burma Bazaar

Today evening, I decided to venture out into Richie street, Chennai’s electoroics market and market for pirated movies and music, and from there I made a trip to Burma Bazaar to basically gauge the mood, after the DMK alliance sneaked into power.

At RIchie street, the celebrations were muted, there weren’t any typical fire crackers not was the alcohol flowing freely, as it normally would, also because I went there a bit too early, at 7 pm. From there I went to Burma Bazaar, as soon as I crossed signal, I could hear the fire crackers and see the smoke, traffic was blocked for quite some time while the celebrations were on, there was a sense of relief, relief that they could finally carry on business uninterrupted.

Speaking to my usual dealers, I got the impression that there was a sense of jubilation and relief. The present government had cracked down on piracy strongly, it had become difficult to conduct business, and the usual mamool (bribe) tactic also didn’t help and business was bad, prices of pirated movies doubled and the business was under pressure. The expectation is that the new government wouldn’t be so hard on the business and the business can flourish. But some of the old timers are sceptical about the new government’s agenda. An old man I spoke to, mentioned excesses of 1978, when the DMK first came to power, and more recently between 1996 -2001 when they demanded a share of the business. Shops he said would be given only to DMK supporters and the others would be harassed, and mamool rates shot through the roof. At both places a sense of jubilation and deep scepticism prevails.

The sale of tamil movies was the hardest hit under the current regime, shop owners in Burma Bazar virtually stopped selling tamil movies, and only a few select shops in RIchie street sell them now. With a change of government, shopkeepers in both places are making plans to sell tamil movies, much to the ire of the tamil film industry.

Chennai Trivia: Burma Bazaar gets it name because originally Indian refugees and traders from Burma would sell their wares at the Bazaar..

3 Comments so far

  1. Vijay Krishna (unregistered) on May 11th, 2006 @ 11:54 pm

    I spoke to some members of the industry (in general), and they seemed relieved too. Their reason though was diferent. Ministers in the DMK government will be more accessible.

  2. Dreamchaser (unregistered) on May 12th, 2006 @ 3:19 am

    Pirated VCDs, worth more than Rs 2 lakh, were seized from two people selling them in Burma Bazaar by the police on Wednesday (11.05.2006).

    The arrested were identified as Shahul Hameed and Marimuthu. The police have raided the houses of the accused and seized all the VCDs.

    via: Deccan Chronicle (12.05.2006)

    I assume it was’nt both of you people sharing their views here ? (jus kidding…)

    – Dreamchaser

  3. G V Balasubramanian (unregistered) on May 14th, 2006 @ 10:02 am

    I visited Burma Bazaar on 13.05.2006. I went to the known shops. Bought Dirty Dozen and Narnia DVD. Checked up the price of Nikon D 50 SLR. Available at Rs 27,000/- One shop owner told me that there was a police raid party to check on Tamil Movies sold. He said about 100 shop owners joined and sent them away. Tamil VCDs and DVDs are still available at Burma Bazaar

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