Prakash Raj on Kaala ban in Karnataka: Rajinikanth's statement has hurt us, but film shouldn't be targeted

Surendhar MK

June 04, 2018 14:11:06 IST

Actor Prakash Raj, who has been an extremely vocal proponent of the BJP government, has now put forth pertinent questions to the incumbent Congress-JD(S) government in Karnataka for banning the release of Superstar Rajinikanth's Kaala in the state.

Prakash Raj asked whether 'the Congress-JD(S) government will let fringe groups take the law into their own hands like what BJP did with Padmaavat or step in and resolve the issue to ensure a smooth release for Kaala.'

"What's Kaala got to do with Cauvery? There is a deep bond between man and a river. So when we talk of Cauvery we do get extremely emotional about it. This is true of people from both states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu where emotions run high when we try to find a solution to share water. But getting emotional does not solve an issue; we need to be practical about it too," he said.

Read: Rajinikanth's Kaala will not release in Karnataka over Cauvery issue; Kamal Haasan's Vishwaroopam 2 could face similar ban

Raj also opined how the central and state government should find a proper solution to the issue by dialogue without falling prey to emotions. "The two respective state governments, the Centre along with specialists who understand the issue of our farmers, water sharing, and nature, should sit together and find a solution. Due to political reasons and unseen pressures, if they fail to do so, our fight should be towards making them accountable and answerable and not become victims of our own emotions," he added.

Prakash Raj (left); Rajinikanth's Kaala poster (right). Facebook

Prakash Raj (left); Rajinikanth's Kaala poster (right). Facebook

While Prakash Raj, like the fringe groups, agreed that Rajinikanth's remarks on the Cauvery issue had hurt the sentiments of Kannadigas, he also argued why Kaala should not be targeted, for it involves the hard work of numerous technicians and a huge investment made by the producer.

"Let's for a moment ponder what we would achieve by stopping the release of the movie Kaala. A statement made by actor Rajinikanth has hurt us deeply. Yes, I agree. In order to express our dissent, a few organizations have called for a ban on the film. Is that what we Kannadigas want? We don't know, and we will never know. If the film is released and people decide not to see it as a mark of their protest only then we will be able to gauge what people really want. But these fringe elements deciding on behalf of the people will not let us know it," he argued.

Asking a series of sensible questions, Raj pointed out how the ban on Kaala could result in chaos and disrupt the harmony between the people of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

"Who are these people to decide what most Kannadigas want or don't want? What about the producer's investment, one who has nothing to do with the statement of this actor? What about the talent and efforts of hundreds of technicians, co-artistes, and workers who have been employed and associated with the film? What will be the plight of those who make a living out of sticking film posters, running cycle stands, to those who run canteens in theatres? What about the distributors, investors and theatre owners and the thousands of those whose lives depend on them? And what about the lakhs and lakhs of cinema lovers because of whom, all these people earn a living? What about the price that a common man has to pay for this strife and chaos? It has led to burnt vehicles, damaged property, children unable to attend school, the list never ends. What about the harmony between people which will be disturbed and destroyed by such incidents inciting hatred among one another in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu?" he asked.

He further added: "Where will these fringe elements go after misusing our emotions? They will wait for another opportunity to strike again and create further chaos. In the end, it is we who will be hit and the ones to have to live with our own wounds."

He also said how he could be labelled as an anti-Kannadiga for raising these important questions candidly. "My #justasking will open avenues for debates, and I will not be surprised if a few end up calling me anti-Kannadiga. We have seen in the recent past that people have called me anti-Hindu and an anti-national as well because I expressed my opinion. However, that does not stop me from saying what I have to say and the rest I leave to your conscience," he said on a concluding note.

While Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce maintains that the state's distributors and theatre owners are not willing to release the film fearing the wrath of pro-Kannada outfits, Film Federation of India has sought the intervention of South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce. Suresh, president of SIFCC, has said that KFCC will hold a meeting with pro-Kannada organizations and distributors today or tomorrow to the take final call.

Kaala releases worldwide on 7 June in Tamil, Telugu, and Hindi.

Updated Date: Jun 04, 2018 14:12 PM