Baahubali: The Conclusion is ready for release and many pro-Kannada organisations have started demanding an apology from actor Sathyaraj, who plays the key role of Kattapa in the film, for some controversial remarks he made several years ago. They have claimed that Baahubali: The Conclusion will not be allowed to release in Karnataka if the apology is not tendered. Talking to a news channel recently, director SS Rajamouli said that targeting Baahubali 2 because of Sathyaraj was “not right.”
“It is a sad thing and we were shocked to see that on social media,” Rajamouli told India Today channel.
“I worked with Sathyaraj for almost five years and I could have never ever imagined he is a person who could try to hurt someone. Some videos were posted on the internet. When we started inquiring, we learned that whatever comments Mr Sathyaraj made it was nine years back. And after that, about 30 films of his were released in Karnataka. Baahubali 1 released. No one had problems with that. And suddenly, raking up the issue at this point in time is not right,” he added.
Speaking about the issue, Vatal Nagaraj was quoted by Bangalore Mirror as saying, “We will not allow any theatre in Karnataka to screen Bahubali. We are not against the film, but against Sathyaraj who plays the character of Katappa in Bahubali.”
Several groups, including the President of the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce and Dr Rajkumar Fans Association, have showed their support to Nagaraj.
Speaking to Deccan Herald, KFCC President Sa Ra Govindu said,
“Till now neither the actor nor the producers have approached the Chamber to discuss the issue. Unless the actor apologises, the screening will not take place in Karnataka. He has insulted Kannadigas.”
It must be noted that Katappa, the slave warlord, is one of the important characters in Baahubali. In fact, after the stupendous success of Baahubali, the most sought-after question is: Why Katappa killed Baahubali?
So what did Sathyaraj say to offend pro-Kannada groups to such an extent that the members of Kannada Rakshana Vedike resorted to protesting outside the Karnataka Film Chamber in Bengaluru?
As opposed to Rajamouli’s claim that Sathyaraj had said something offensive nine years ago, we discovered that the protesters are apparently miffed about Sathyaraj’s usage of “inflammatory language” during the Cauvery river water dispute of 2016, according to this News Minute report.
The News Minute quoted Kannada Rakshana Vedike Chief, Praveen Shetty, as saying, “Kollywood actor Sathyaraj supported Tamil Nadu during the Cauvery issue and spoke badly about Karnataka and Kannadigas. This has hurt our sentiments. Any self-respecting Kannadiga will agree with me on this. We will not allow Baahubali to be released unless actor Sathyaraj apologises to all Kannadigas.”
Made on a lavish budget of Rs 250 crore, Baahubali is touted to have earned more than Rs 500 crore even before its release through its satellite and distribution rights.
Directed by SS Rajamouli, Baahubali 2 takes the story forward from where Baahubali: The Beginning ended. Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty, Tamannaah, Sathyaraj and Ramya Krishnan star in pivotal roles in this instalment of Baahubali too. The film is slated to release on April 28 this year.