With growing tension between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka over Cauvery water-sharing dispute, pro-Kannada activists have threatened not to allow the release of Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan films in theatres across Karnataka.
Kannada activist Vatal Nagaraj, announcing the dawn-to-dusk bandh in Karnataka on April 12, recently had said the films of the two superstars of Tamil cinema will not be shown in the state under any circumstances. He has been leading a counter-protest in response to Tamil Nadu’s agitation demanding the formation of the Cauvery board.
He said about 3000 pro-Kannada groups are against the Centre implementing the Supreme Court judgment in the decades-old Cauvery row. Rajinikanth responding to Nagaraj’s threat on Sunday said, “We are fighting for a right reason. If they don’t allow the films to release, the producers and distributors will take care of it. And there is law and order. I am confident that the Karnataka government will give security (to my films).”
The first casualty, when the tension crops up between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, is the entertainment industry.
It may be recalled that last year, pro-Kannada groups protested against the release of Baahubali: The Conclusion due to decade-old anti-Karnataka comments made by actor Sathyaraj, who played a key role in the film. The agitating activists allowed the smooth release of the magnum opus, only after their demands were met.
In 2008, superstar Rajinikanth came under fire by Kannada activists for using the phrase ‘kick them’ while speaking at a protest rally during the Hogenakkal project row. Kannada activists demanded an apology from the star for his “indecent language” before allowing his movie Kuselan to release in the state.
Rajinikanth gave into their demands and issued an apology clarifying that ‘kick them’ phrase was directed at the anti-social elements who were escalating tension between the two states.