Chiranjeevi opens up about feeling insulted on seeing no mention of ‘South actors’ on wall dedicated to Indian cinema

Updated on Apr 26, 2022 02:18 PM IST

Chiranjeevi once attended an after-party on the eve of an award ceremony in 1989 and came across a wall dedicated to Indian cinema but it mostly had only Hindi films on display. 

Chiranjeevi felt insulted when Hindi cinema was portrayed as Indian cinema.
Chiranjeevi felt insulted when Hindi cinema was portrayed as Indian cinema.

Actor Chiranjeevi, at the pre-release event of his forthcoming Telugu release Acharya, recalled an incident from his life where he felt insulted and humiliated while attending an award ceremony in Delhi, 1989. He said that he felt insulted and humiliated with the very little importance that was given to south Indian cinema and its actors while talking about Indian cinema.

Chiranjeevi was invited to the award ceremony where his movie Rudraveena was being honoured with the prestigious Nargis Dutt award. On the eve of the award ceremony, he attended a high tea party where he walked past a wall that portrayed the history of Indian cinema. He said that he felt insulted as the wall had very little mention about south Indian actors.

“I kept walking in expectation to see something on south films. However, there was only a still of MGR with Jayalalithaa and a photo of Prem Nazir. They titled it as south films. Just that. They did not recognise stalwarts like Raj Kumar or Vishnuvardhan or NT Ramarao or Nageswara Rao or Sivaji Ganesan or even the legendary filmmakers of our industries. I felt very humiliated at that moment. It was like an insult. They portrayed Hindi cinema as Indian cinema. While other films were categorised as ‘regional films’ and were not given respect,” Chiranjeevi was quoted in a report by IndianExpress.com.

Despite speaking about it back then, Chiranjeevi said there was no response. He added that with films like Baahubali, RRR, Pushpa and KGF doing exceptionally well, he feels proud that directors, actors and writers from south India are being recognized nationally.

He went on to thank SS Rajamouli for making Baahubali as it successfully broke the regional barriers. He gave him the tag of ‘Demigod of Indian cinema'. “Baahubali made me proud as it removed the demarcation between regional and Hindi cinema and proved that we all are a part of the Indian film industry. These films have made Telugu audiences proud. Hats off to SS Rajamouli for giving us films like Baahubali and RRR. He will be remembered forever,” Chiranjeevi said.

Acharya, which has been directed by Koratala Siva, also stars Ram Charan in a key role. It releases in cinemas on Friday.

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