Pro-Kannada groups reject Rajnikant’s clarification

April 8th, 2008 - 8:08 pm ICT by admin  

By R.G. Vijayasarathy
Bangalore, April 8 (IANS) Pro-Kannada groups Tuesday rejected Tamil superstar Rajnikant’s clarification that he had not insulted Kannadigas last week during a Tamil film artistes meet in support of the Hogenakkal water project. “Rajnikant has made a statement which is insulting not only to the pro-Kannada groups but all the Kannadigas… He has to apologise… We will not allow Rajnikant’s films to be screened or shot on the shores of Karnataka. He should step into the state only after he apologises,” T.A. Narayana Gowda, president of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, one of the most vociferous pro-Kannada groups, told IANS.

Rajnikant has clarified that during his speech in Chennai last week at a Tamil film artistes meet in support of Tamil Nadu’s water project on the inter-state border he only said that those indulging in violence against screening of Tamil films and attacking Tamil groups’ offices in Karnataka deserve a kick. “I am not a fool to say that all the 50 million Kannadigas deserve a kick,” he said.

The water supply project at Hogenakkal waterfall on the border of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu has become a bone of contention between the two states. Karnataka says the project will affect its interests while Tamil Nadu says the neighbour had agreed to it several years ago and hence there is no ground for objection now.

Chandrashekhar Patil, president of the Kannada Sahithya Parishat, said Rajnikant is trying to wriggle out of a situation he has created for himself.

“There were many speakers (at the April 4 protest in Chennai) who spoke in saner voices. But Rajnikant was clearly provocative. He has hurt the feelings of the people of Karnataka. It is better for him to apologise for his misdemeanour,” Patil said.

Actor-producer-director Dwarakish, who has made two Tamil and one Hindi film with Rajnikant, said Rajnikant’s stature would increase if he apologises.

Sa. Ra. Govindu, vice-president of Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce, said Rajnikant has no right to belittle the struggle undertaken by pro-Kannada groups to protect the interests of the state.

“The degree of violence was more in Tamil Nadu than in Karnataka. Hotels belonging to Kannadigas were attacked and more buses were burnt. There is no point giving clarifications now. Rajnikant should apologise to Kannadigas,” Govindu said.

On Rajnikant’s contention that he will apologise if some leading Kannada film stars who are close to him and writers like Girish Karnad tell him to do so, film actor and Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Chandru said: “Rajni should apologise to all Kannadigas and not because of the advice of four or five people.”

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