Actor-activist Prakash Raj has slammed the pro-Kannada groups for trying to take away the right to choice of the common people in Karnataka while expressing his discontent with the call for a ban on Superstar Rajinikanth’s Kaala. He suggested the Cauvery water-sharing issue is a touchy subject for both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, but to find a solution one needs to act practically and not emotionally.
“There is a deep bond between man and a river. So when we talk of Cauvery we do extremely emotional about it. This is true of people from both states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu where emotions run high when we try to find a solution to share water. But getting emotional does not solve an issue; we need to be practical about it too, ” he said in a statement posted on his Twitter account.
“The two respective state governments, the Centre along with specialists who understand the issue of our farmers, water sharing and nature, should sit together and find a solution. Due to political reasons and unseen pressures if they fail to do so, our fight should be towards making them accountable and answerable and not become victims of our own emotions, ” he added.
What’s film #kaala got to do with Kaveri issue..?why is film fraternity targeted always..? Will Jds/congress government let fringe elements take law into their hands …like bjp did with #Padmavat ..or ..will you step in to assure common man ..his right for choice.#justasking.. pic.twitter.com/GaHYTMkCTg
— Prakash Raj (@prakashraaj) June 3, 2018
Prakash Raj shared the sentiment of pro-Kannada activists about Rajinikanth’s remarks on the Cauvery issue. But, he said banning his film was not the right way to protest against his remarks.
“A statement made by actor Rajinikanth has hurt us deeply. Yes, I agree. In order to express our dissent, a few organisations have called for a ban on the film. Is that what we Kannadigas want? We don’t know and we will never know. If the film is released and people decide not to see it as a mark of their protest only then will be able to gauge what people really want. But these fringe elements deciding on behalf of the people will not let us know it. Who are these people to decide what most Kannadigas want or don’t want?” asked the 53-year-old actor.
He also opined that it was not fair to penalise hundreds of other people who worked on Kaala to punish Rajinikanth.
“What about the producer’s investment, one who has nothing to do with the statement of this actor? What about the talent and effort of hundreds of technicians, co-artistes and workers who have been employed and associated with the film? What will be the plight of those who make a living out of sticking film posters, running cycle stands, those who run canteens in theatres? What about the distributors, investors and theatre owners and the thousands of those whose lives depend on them? And what about the lakhs and lakhs of cinema lovers because of whom, all these people earn a living? What about the price that a common man has to pay for this strife and chaos? It has led to burn vehicles, damaged property, children unable to attend school, the list never ends. What about the harmony between people which will be disturbed and destroyed by such incidents inciting hatred among one another in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu?” he rued.
He slammed the protesting organisations, saying these “fringe groups” will disappear after “misusing our emotions” and wait for another opportunity to strike back again.
A film or any work of art shouldn’t be a soft target for people. When you keep a problem alive, naturally fringe elements will try to take law into their hands, govt needs tell them that law&order is our responsibility, you can protest but can’t stop a film from releasing: P Raj pic.twitter.com/2TYAEr7YWf
— ANI (@ANI) June 4, 2018
Karnataka Film Chamber has said that they have not asked for a ban but the distributors & exhibitors seeing the pressure have voluntarily decided to not create tension by not releasing ‘Kaala’.The onus is now on the state & central govt: Prakash Raj on ban on Rajinikant’s ‘Kaala’ pic.twitter.com/R7lTdsMNYa
— ANI (@ANI) June 4, 2018
“What’s film #kaala got to do with Kaveri issue..?why is film fraternity targeted always..? Will Jds/congress government let fringe elements take law into their hands …like bjp did with #Padmavat ..or ..will you step in to assure common man ..his right for choice.#justasking..,” he tweeted in an appeal to the Kumaraswamy led government, which is yet to announce its decision on Kaala release.
Prakash acknowledged that by supporting the release of Kaala he was at the risk of being called anti-Kannadiga. “My #justasking will open avenues for debates, and I will not be surprised if a few end up calling me anti-Kannadiga. We have seen in the recent past that people have called me anti-Hindu and an anti-national as well, because I expressed my opinion. However, that does not stop me from saying what I have to say and rest I leave to your conscience.”
Prakash reportedly even met the members of the Kannada Film Chambers of Commerce to convince them to withdraw their protest against the release of Kaala.
Kaala is due in cinemas on June 7.