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Sunday, Aug 18, 2019

Sathyaraj of Baahubali 2 given 8 days to apologise to Kannadigas

Activists have also threatened to shut down Bengaluru on April 28 as a mark of protest.

regional-movies Updated: Apr 24, 2017 12:35 IST
Sudipto Mandal
Sudipto Mandal
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
Sathyaraj supported Tamil farmers demanding Cauvery water at a demonstration in 2008.
Sathyaraj supported Tamil farmers demanding Cauvery water at a demonstration in 2008.

Baahubali 2 will be allowed to screen in Karnataka only if actor Sathyaraj, who plays the role of Kattappa in the film, apologises for a statement he made nine years ago on the Cauvery water dispute, pro-Kannada organisations have threatened.

The actor, who had supported Tamil farmers demanding Cauvery water at a demonstration in 2008, has been given eight days to apologise for his statements to ensure that the April 28 release goes smoothly in the State. The activists have also threatened to shut down the State capital on April 28 as a mark of protest.

Led by veteran Kannada activist and former MLA Vatal Nagaraj, dozens of like-minded organisations staged a protest in the city on Thursday and issued a statement saying allowing the film to run without an apology from Sathyaraj would be a big blow to the self respect of Kannadigas. Some activists staged a demonstration outside the Karnataka Film Chambers of Commerce demanding a ban on all Tamil films.

The organisations also announced that they will keep intensifying the agitation till the actor apologises. “Tomorrow we will burn his effigy and day-after, we will block the highway connecting the two states at Attibele,” Nagaraj told HT.

Meanwhile, the film’s director SS Rajamouli made an emotional appeal to reason in a Twitter video requesting the Kannada protestors to consider the plight of all the others who have worked day and night to make the movie. Speaking in slightly accented albeit flawless Kannada, the Telugu director said, “Some comments made by Sathyaraj have purportedly hurt the sentiments of Kannadigas. But on behalf of the producers and the crew of the film, I wish to clarify that we have nothing to do with those statements. It is only the personal view of Sathyaraj and is not shared by us.”

He also said that Sathyaraj has acted in several films in the last nine years since he made the controversial comments and all of them have been screened in Karnataka without a hitch. “Preventing the film will not cause Sathyaraj any loss. Targetting the film because of one actor is wrong.”

Asked to respond to Rajamouli’s statement, Nagaraj said, “We have nothing against the film or its crew. I am told that it is a very good film. All we want is for him to apologise. The man compared Kannadigas to dogs. How can we keep quiet?”

In his 2008 speech, Sathyaraj was quoted in the media as saying, “Tamils should not be like a tree which stands silently as any dog comes and urinates on it.

Follow @htshowbiz for more

First Published: Apr 20, 2017 21:32 IST

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