Bengaluru: A day after pro-Kannada activists intensified their stand against Tamil actor Sathyaraj for his allegedly insulting remarks against Kannadigas by calling for a Bengaluru bandh on April 28 — the day S.S. Rajamouli's Bahubali 2 is releasing worldwide, the director of the movie clarified on the issue while seeking support from Kannada audiences for his film.
In a release and a video message, Rajamouli urged people of Karnataka to support his film and expressed concern over the growing protests related to the controversy involving Sathyaraj. He asserted that the alleged statements made by Sathyaraj had nothing to do with the film.
"We were totally unaware of his comments until the video surfaced on social media. Sathyaraj has neither produced or directed the movie nor is he even involved in its making. As an actor, he has portrayed one of the characters in the film, for which he has been paid. It will not affect the actor in any manner if the movie is not released in Karnataka. However, it will directly affect the producers of the movie, the distributors apart from five years of hard which will go in vain," said Rajamouli.
He claimed that the alleged video which shows the actor allegedly insulting Kannadigas, is at least nine years old, and thereafter several movies in which the actor himself has acted and produced have been released in Karnataka including the first part of Bahubali. “Following the agitations, we had telephoned the actor conveying our concern and beyond that, we cannot do much in the matter, the director stated.
Meanwhile, pro-Kannada organisations have refused to budge stating that they will not allow the release of the movie until and unless the actor himself tenders an unconditional apology to the people of Karnataka. Pro-Kannada leader Vatal Nagaraj, who is spearheading the protests, has reportedly said that they will not allow the release of the movie even if the Army is called in to stop the protests....