Giving in to pro-Kannada organisations’ threat to stall the release of ‘Baahubali: The Conclusion’, Tamil actor Sathyaraj on Friday expressed the deepest regret over comments he made against Kannadigas and appealed for the smooth release of the movie.
“Nine years ago, I voiced my opinion during the Cauvery row. People in Karnataka burnt my effigies for my strong comments. I have been told that my comments back then had hurt the sentiments of Kannadigas. I deeply regret to have made such comments,” Sathyaraj said in a video statement.
Sathyaraj, who plays the role of Kattappa in Baahubali, has been accused of hurting the sentiments of the Karnataka people in a speech during the Cauvery row nine years ago. Pro-Kannada groups led by Kannada Chalavali Vatal Paksha President Vatal Nagaraj called for a strike on April 28 coinciding with the date of movie release and threatened to prevent the movie screening in the state unless the actor tenders his apology.
Terming the threat to prevent the movie screening for his comments, he said, “I play a very small part of a big film like ‘Baahubali‘. The hard work of hundreds of people on this project shouldn’t go waste. Also, Karnataka distributors who have bet big on this film should not lose money because of the actions of my consequences.”
However, Sathyaraj made it very clear that he would in future continue to fight for the cause of Tamils. “I will continue to fight for Tamils for any worthy cause. If producers think they will face problems or losses because of my actions, I request them not to cast me. Nobody should bear loss because of me. Beyond an actor, I’m a proud Tamilian,” he added.
Pro-Kannada groups will meet in Bengaluru on Saturday to decide on whether to go ahead with their protest to stall the release of ‘Baahubali 2‘ in view of “wholehearted regret” expressed by actor Sathyaraj. “We will meet and announce our decision tomorrow,” Vatal Nagaraj, who heads ‘Kannada Okoota’, an umbrella organisation of Kannada bodies, said in response to Sathyaraj’s statement in Chennai on Friday.