Rajani Kanth apologise

It took a sincere apology from superstar Rajnikant to Kannadigas to ensure his hyped Kuselan has a smooth release in Karnataka on Friday. He deeply regretted his ‘anti-Kannadadiga’ statements during the Hogennakal controversy. Speaking in Kannada to a local TV channel on Thursday which caught up with him in Hyderabad, Rajnikant admitted his ‘utterances’ were a blunder. “Kannadigas have taught me a good lesson. In future, such mistakes will not happen.’’

Kannada activists were up in arms against Rajnikant for his statements that he would not lose anything if his films were not watched in Karnataka. He had made the remarks at a meeting organized by the Tamil film industry in support of the TN government on Hogennakal in April. This followed the Kannada film industry taking up cudgels on behalf of the Karnataka government.

Once the dates for Kuselan’s release were announced, Kannada activists insisted they would allow the film to be screened in the state only if the actor apologized. They were not convinced by an appeal written by Rajnikant in Kannada to Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce chairperson Jayamala. They insisted on an apology. On Thursday, it seemed uncertain whether the film would be released on Friday following protests by Kannada activists. Late in the evening, the tension eased after Rajnikant’s apology became known. In the statement, he even referred to the fact that he’d worked as a conductor with Bangalore Transport Service before getting a break in the film industry.

Karnataka Rakshana Vedike representatives T A Narayana Gowda and Praveen Kumar Shetty, heading two groups spearheading the agitation, said they were satisfied with the reply.

Film buffs can watch Rajnikant-starrer Kuselan on Friday without any fear of protests. A premiere of the movie was held in the city on Thursday soon after the star apologized through the electronic media.

A satisfied Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (KRV) has withdrawn protests against the movie. Even on Thursday morning, the KRV staged a dharna in front of the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce, as it had cleared the movie following a letter from the actor.
The KRV had called for a ban of the movie in the state, citing Rajnikant’s controversial remarks during the Hogenakkal project row.

T A Narayana Gowda of the KRV, in a release, said the organization would continue to protest against those making ‘derogatory’ remarks about Karnataka and Kannada. Shivarame Gowda, president of a KRV faction, said they have withdrawn protests following the apology.

Additional commissioner of police (law and order) M R Pujar said the police would ensure peace is maintained during the film’s release.

He told reporters jurisdictional ACPs would monitor the situation. “So far, no one has approached us for protection. Neither distributors nor theatre owners have asked for security. However, we have taken measures to maintain law and order,’’ he said.


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