After protests were held by members of Karnataka Rakhsha Vedika on Thursday, director SS Rajamouli and the filmmakers of Baahubali: The Conclusion have requested audience in Karnataka to rethink their decision. They have explained how stopping the release of this film doesn’t affect Sathayaraj, but the technicians, crew, the producers and the Karnataka distributors more. They seek the same support from the people that they received during the release of Baahubali 1.
Watch | SS Rajamouli appeals to the audience in Karnataka
An appeal to all the Kannada friends… pic.twitter.com/5rJWMixnZF
— rajamouli ss (@ssrajamouli) April 20, 2017
The members of Karnataka Rakhsha Vedika held a protest on Thursday outside the office of Karnataka Film Chambers of Commerce in Bengaluru. The pro-Kannada groups reasserted their demand that they will not allow the release of Baahubali: The Conclusion until actor Sathyaraj tenders an apology. “Sathyaraj has just not hurt the feelings of six crore Kannadigas, he has disturbed the peace between two states. It won’t be wrong to call him a traitor. He is a Tamil actor and when he talks bad about Karnataka, the entire Kannada film fraternity should come together and condemn his remarks,” said a member of Karnataka Rakhsha Vedika.
SS Rajamouli, the director of the film on the other hand said, “I’m not fluent in Kannada, please forgive me if I speak something wrong. The Baahubali team and I wanted to issue a clarification about the Sathyaraj controversy. A few years back Sathyaraj had made some comments, which have hurt your sentiments. But, we are no way connected to his comments. It is his personal opinion. We were not aware of this issue until a month ago till we saw a video on social media. He made this comments 9 years ago. After that many of his films were released in Karnataka, including Baahubali part 1. We request you to give the same support for Baahubali 2. He is neither the director nor the producer of this film. He is one of the many supporting actors in the film. If you stop this film, he is not going to face any loss. We think it is not right to punish so many people for one person’s comments and turn the anger on an individual towards Baahubali 2. We have explained the situation to Stayaraj over the phone. And we can’t do anything more than that. I implore you not to involve us in this issue as we are no way connected to it.”
See | Letter from the filmmakers of Baahubali 2
— Baahubali (@BaahubaliMovie) April 20, 2017
Sa.Ra Govindu president of KFCC told the media at the protest that they are not against the movie, but do not appreciate actor Sathyaraj’s comment.”We are not against Baahubali film. We are protesting against the remarks of Sathyaraj, who plays Kattappa’s role in the film. Karnataka Rakhsha Vedika has requested us not to release the film in the state until the actor issues an unconditional apology. KFCC has enjoyed a cordial relationship with pro-Kannada groups for years. We consider Sathyaraj’s comments on Vatal Nagaraj as an insult against everyone in Karnataka,”
“When the film’s producers and distributors came to our office, they told they have nothing to do with the controversy but they were paying the price for Sathyaraj’s mistake. They asked us to convince pro-Kannada groups to allow the release of the film without any problem. I told them instead of trying to putting pressure on me, convince Sathyaraj to give an apology,” Govindu said while stressing that he has given his full support to the demands of pro-Kannada groups.
“Rajinikanth had tendered an apology when he was in a similar situation earlier. Why can’t Sathyaraj do so? He is not bigger than Rajinikanth,” Govindu said referring to the controversy related to Rajinikanth’s speech during Hogenakkal protest.
The Pro-Kannada groups also set the banner of Sathyaraj on fire as part of the protest. They have also called state-wide bandh on April 28.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines