The Tamil Nadu government on Monday had granted permission to theatres and cinema halls in the state to operate once again with 100% occupancy ahead of the two big Pongal releases - 'Thalapathy' Vijay's Master and Silambarasan TR's Eeswaran. The state government's decision comes after consultation with ministers, including requests put forward by Vijay and Simbu to allow 100% occupancy in cinema halls. With the Government Order (GO) since then issued to the Tamil Nadu Theatre And Multiplex Owners Association and promotions underway in light of the two films' release plans, Aravinth Srinivas, who is a resident doctor at Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER) in Puducherry, wrote an open letter to the Tamil Nadu government, Vijay and STR addressing the decision to authorize theatres to function at 100% capacity. 

Taking to his Facebook page, Aravinth Srinivas posted a detailed statement about the Tamil Nadu government’s recent decision. Below is the complete post of the junior resident doctor: 

"Dear Actor Vijay sir, Silambarasan sir and the respected Govt. of Tamil Nadu, 

I am tired. We are all tired. Thousands of doctors like me are tired. Health care workers are tired. Police officials are tired. Sanitary workers are tired. 

We have worked so hard at the ground level to make sure the damage done is kept to as low as possible amidst an unprecedented pandemic. I am not glorifying our work for I know there is nothing so great about it to the onlooker’s eyes. We don’t have cameras in front of us. We don’t do stunt sequences. We aren’t heroes. But we deserve some time to breath. We don’t want to fall prey to someone’s selfishness and greed.

The pandemic isn’t over and we have people dying till today to the disease. A hundred percent theatre occupancy is a suicide attempt. Rather homicide, for none of the policy makers or the so called heroes are going to put themselves under the pump, to watch the movie amidst the crowd. This is a blatant barter system, trading lives for money. 

Can we please slowly try and concentrate on our lives and make sure we tide through this pandemic peacefully and not reignite the slowly burning out flame, that is still not completely put out? 

I wanted to make this post scientific and explain why we are still in danger. But that’s when I asked myself, “what’s the point?” 

Yours tiredly 

A poor, tired resident doctor"

Although a majority in the Tamil film industry have given their nod for 100% occupancy in theatres, actor Arvind Swami was one among the few who criticised the latest government decision. He tweeted, "There are times when 50% is way better than a 100%. This is one of them."