I never wanted violence, says Rajnikant on Hogenekkal

April 7th, 2008 - 8:03 pm ICT by admin  

Chennai, April 7 (IANS) Tamil film icon Rajnikant clarified Monday that he never meant to instigate violence through his anti-Karnataka remarks on the Hogenekkal drinking water project. In a television interview, the superstar said that if a “few troublemakers stop my movies from being screened in Karnataka, it will not be my loss.”

“I only wanted poisonous vermin indulging in arson against Tamils in Karnataka in the name of opposition to the Hogenekkal project to be dealt with appropriately. Such measures can be initiated by every person with civic sense in Karnataka itself,” Rajnikanth told the Maran-owned channel Udaya-TV, speaking in Kannada.

“But I never wanted violence unleashed on innocent people, as is being alleged through propaganda efforts by vested interests. Despite my honourable intentions, if a few troublemakers stop my movies being screened in Karnataka it will not be my loss,” Rajnikanth said.

On the culmination of a day-long fast Friday, organised by leading lights of Tamil cinema, Rajnikant launched a blistering attack on Kannada chauvinists in Bangalore who shut down cinemas showing Tamil films and marred the Tamil Sangam in the IT capital. “Don’t people who indulge in mindless violence for a worthless cause deserve to be belaboured?” he asked.

He also said: “I unequivocally condemn Karnataka for this reprehensible act of denying us what is rightfully ours.”

Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi Saturday put on hold the Rs.13.34 billion Hogenekkal Joint Drinking Water Supply scheme, located on the border with Karnataka, till the state assembly elections in Karnataka are completed in May.

Karunanidhi took the step in the wake of attacks on Tamil property in Bangalore. But political allies propping up Tamil Nadu’s DMK government questioned Karunanidhi’s decision.

The PMK, an ally of the DMK, launched a sharp attack on the ruling party.

Party founder S. Ramadoss said at a function, “Does Chief Minister Kalaignar (M. Karunanidhi) have an assurance as to whether the Hogenekkal Drinking Water Project, currently put on hold, will not be bogged down interminably in courts, denying our people what is rightfully ours, regardless of who comes to power in Karnataka?”

At the same function for the launch of a new political party, VCK chief Thol Thirumavalavan indicated that a proposed state-wide protest Wednesday against “recalcitrant Kannada chauvinists opposing the project needlessly” would take place.

“We want central armed forces to guard our real estate in Hogenekkal and appropriate protection for our Tamil brothers and sisters in Karnataka who are facing threats to life, limb and loss of properties,” Thirumavalavan said.

Situated 350 km southwest of here, the Hogenekkal Joint Drinking Water Project foundation stone was laid by Chief Minister Karunanidhi Feb 26.

The controversy between the two states began as a minor claim over a river islet. Now claims and counter-claims have transformed it into a border dispute covering the Tamil Nadu districts of Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri bordering Karnataka.

The water project has been opposed by political parties in Karnataka due to fears that it will affect local farmers and a water supply project in Bangalore. The Tamil Nadu government says the project will take shape by 2021 and benefit over four million people by 2036.

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