Is kannada film Prithvi is produced by Kumaraswamy?

The anti-BJP and anti-mining angle in kannada movie Prithvi triggers rumours in Sandalwood that H D Kumaraswamy is the film’s benami producer.

Afew months ago, the audio album of Devanahalli, a film based on the land mafia around Bengaluru International Airport, had lines that hit out at the Deve Gowda clan. Interestingly, the film was ‘presented’ by BJP minister and Bellary mining lord B Sriramulu.

The film’s songs had references to a ‘maha mantri’ and his relationship with ‘Radhavva.’ It was not lost on the listener that it was a reference to HD Kumaraswamy and actress Radhika. Another song referred to Deve Gowda’s statement that he would rather not be born in Karnataka. These were seen as the mining lord’s attack on JD(S) politicians through a film.

If the buzz in Sandalwood is to be believed, former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy has hit back with another film at the Bellary mining bigwigs. Last week’s release Prithvi, which has Puneeth Rajkumar in the lead, is the first film to directly refer to the ill-effects of mining and indirectly lampoon BJP politicians. Though Ram Babu is the producer of the film, rumour mills have it that HD Kumaraswamy funded it.

What makes it sound plausible is the fact that till its release, it was not revealed that the film was about the mining in Bellary. The shooting was done in Vishakapatnam instead of Bellary to keep things under wraps.

“I have heard that Kumaraswamy wants to see the film. But I have no contact with him. There are people in Sandalwood who say that he funded the film. Why should he? He is a producer himself and could have made the film himself. I have nothing against the mining politicians. I know about them only by reading about them in newspapers and seeing them on television,” said Ram Babu.

In Prithvi, the protagonist is a district commissioner who fights the misdeeds of mining lords of Bellary. More than a masala movie, it goes on to make references to many politicians. A minister is shown giving everyone visiting him ‘ganga jala.’ People watching the film exclaim Krishnaiah Shetty, knowing well the Cabinet minister’s penchant for distributing water from the Ganges during festivals.

In another scene, the same character says that despite doing politics wearing a ‘chaddi’ (RSS shorts) for 40 years, he has to listen to outsider mining lords with money and that miners become MLAs and threaten to dislodge their own chief minister. Throughout the film, mine owners are depicted as the villains and the cause for all ills of Bellary.

“Many people have told me that if the film had been released before the BBMP elections, the BJP would have lost 25-30 seats. But, I have nothing against any political party,” says Babu.

Sources say that it made sense to hide the fact that the film was on the controversy surrounding iron ore mining and politics in Bellary. “A film allegedly based on H D Kumaraswamy and actress Radhika, Mukhyamantri I Love You, is caught in legal tangle and not released. Someone could have brought a court stay on Prithvi before its release, if its subject was known,” said a Sandalwood producer.

Babu says that he did not reveal the story as it would have meant giving up on the curiosity about the film.