The Baahubali 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.
“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 couldtry 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.
He also suggested stopping the screening of the film will not affect Sathyaraj in any way. “He (Sathyaraj) is not the director of the film. He is not the writer or producer or the hero. He is just a supporting actor. He acted in the film and took his remuneration and went away. So whatever people do against Baahubali 2 will not affect him in any manner. It is sad. I think people will understand the issue and it will be resolved,” he said.At a protest meet in Tamil Nadu during a water sharing dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, Sathyaraj attacked pro-Kannada groups and activist Vatal Nagaraj. The veteran Kannada activist has now been leading an anti-Baahubali campaign threatening to stop the screening of the film across the state.
According to reports, no distributors or exhibitors have bought the theatrical rights of Baahubali 2, which is pegged at Rs 40 crore, in Karnataka fearing a backlash from the pro-Kannada groups. The film will hit the screens worldwide on April 28 but will it open in Karnataka? Only time will tell.
Interestingly, the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce also appeared to support Vatal at that point of time. In fact, the body’s president SaRa Govindu told a daily, “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.”