In a development to the Baahubali 2 : The Conclusion release drama in Karnataka, actor Sathyaraj has apologized for the derogatory comments he made against Kannadigas nine years ago, when Tamilians were reportedly assaulted in the state over the Cauvery issue. The veteran actor plays Kattappa in the Baahubali franchise. His apology came after pro-Kannada outfits threatened that they would not allow the film to release. Unless he tendered an unconditional apology for his anti-Kannadiga remarks.
In a video statement in Tamil, Sathyaraj said, “I have got to know that what I had spoken during the Cauvery water crisis has created a lot of tension among the people of Karnataka. I’m not against Kannadigas or Karnataka.” In support of that statement, the actor gave the example of Shekar, his assistant of over 30 years, who is a Kannadiga. He added, “Nine years ago, during the Cauvery protests, Tamilians in Karnataka were targeted and there were protests asking for stalling the release of Tamil movies. During a meeting of the film industry to condemn this, many people spoke out with passion against the move. I was one among them. In retaliation, my effigies were burnt in Karnataka.”
He said, “I don’t want the consequences of my actions to affect the hard work of thousands of people. I also have a duty to protect those Kannadiga distributors who have bought the rights for the release of the film.”
Too Late To Say Sorry?
Foreseeing that the apology will most likely not go down well with Tamilians. They have been backing Sathyaraj so far. The actor appealed to them to understand why he had to apologize. “I will, in the future, continue to fight for the issue of Tamils. Be it Sri Lanka, Cauvery or farmers’ rights. Apart from an actor, I am a proud Tamilian,” he said.
Pro-Kannada groups are aware of Sathyaraj’s statement, and are yet to take a decision on the film’s release.