Akkineni Nageswara Rao’s daughter Naga Susheela’s speech during the condolence meet held at the Andhra Pradesh Film Chamber of Commerce on Friday evening did irk some of the luminaries present.
During an emotional speech, Susheela said, “Everybody is praising him now, but when my father received the Padma Vibhushan, the film industry did not react and did not even felicitate him.”
Paruchuri Gopalakrishna, who anchored the event, immediately told Naga Susheela that T. Subbarami Reddy had organised a big event to felicitate Nageswara Rao. But Susheela simply ignored the clarification.
Paruchuri later added that Susheela’s outburst was unnecessary. “It’s not the right occasion to speak of these things. She lost her father and thus perhaps was a bit emotional. Maybe that’s why she said these things. It’s not a serious comment,” he said.
In the past, when Chiranjeevi was honoured with the Padma Bhushan, he himself had organised a big function in collaboration with a television channel. “He organised it himself and the industry had participated in that event,” says one producer.
A few years back, actor Krishna, too, had been honoured with the Padma Bhushan and the industry had not organised even a small function for him. During the condolence meet, producer, director and actor R. Narayanamurthy said that ANR should be honoured with the Bharat Ratna. “Some characters he portrayed represented other parts of India. Bhakta Jayadeva related to Odisha, Bhakta Tukaram related to Maharashtra, Kalidas related to UP and Amarasilipi Jakkanna related to Karnataka. He was one of the best actors that Indian cinema has produced, so he deserves the Bharat Ratna,” Narayana-murthy said, adding that ANR had not got the award because of political games.