Rajnikanth has risen in stature: Kannada activists

August 2nd, 2008 - 1:23 am ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Kuselan

Bangalore, Aug 1 (IANS) Tamil superstar Rajnikant has risen in stature after accepting that he had made a “mistake” in making remarks that had hurt Kannadiga sentiments, Kannada activists said here Friday, a day after his “Kuselan” was released in the state. “All of us make mistakes, but to accept that we have indeed made a mistake is something that comes from exceptionally great people. Rajnikanth who is born and brought up in Karnataka is one such great person,” said Yathiraj, a pro-Kannada activist who was amongst those who wanted an apology from the actor.

Rajnikant had allegedly hurt the sentiments of Kannadigas by supporting Tamil Nadu on a row over a drinking water project in Hogenekkal, on the border between the two states. The superstar had joined the Tamil film fraternity in a daylong protest fast in April against Karnataka’s objections to the Hogenekkal project that is expected to benefit millions of people in two Tamil Nadu districts.

Karnataka is opposed to the project, saying its share of the Cauvery river waters will be affected.

T.A. Narayana Gowda, president of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike that had demanded that the release of “Kuselan” be stalled, also appreciated that Rajnikant had accepted his mistake.

“We know Rajni belongs to Karnataka and we are sure that he had been pressurised to make anti-Kannada statements. But now with this apology he has proved to be a golden hearted personality who is prepared to accept his mistake. Being an icon in the film industry, he has proved that he is also a great human being who can assuage the hurt feelings of people by a simple apology. He has really risen in our esteem,” Gowda said.

“Kuselan” was released in Karnataka Thursday night with two special shows at two theatres here, hours after he accepted his “mistake” in an interview to a TV channel in Hyderabad.

The actor spoke in Kannada and said that he had “learnt a lesson” from the episode and “will think 10 times” before he is asked to speak in any function. He also reiterated that he had not spoken against pro Kannada activists but only against people who were using violence as a means to achieve their ends.

Members of the Kannada film industry also appreciated Rajnikant’s clarification. Actor and producer Dwarakish said he was fully satisfied with the actor’s statement.

But actor Srinivasa Murthy said he was still not convinced as the actor had not really tendered an apology but just accepted that he had made a mistake.

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