Sathyaraj alias Katappa had allegedly made anti-Kannada comments over the Cauvery issue nine years ago and his old statements put the fate of the epic fantasy in jeopardy in Karnataka. The old video has gone viral recently.
Fringe groups in Karnataka had demanded an apology from the actor. In the view of threats received to the movie, Sathyaraj issued a video apology on Friday in which he reportedly said “I have got to know that what I had spoken during the Cauvery water crisis has created a lot of tension among the people of Karnataka. I am not against Kannadigas or Karnataka. The biggest example for this is that for the last 30 years, my assistant has been Shekar who is himself is a kannadiga. I would like to apologise for the statement that I had made nine years ago and would like to say that I am a small worker in Bahubali film and my comment should not affect the film. I also appeal to Tamils to understand.”
Rajamouli on Thursday had shared a video message on Twitter, in which he appealed to the pro-Kannada outfits to reconsider their protest but it seems that’s not good enough to pacify the protesters.
Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are locked in a dispute over sharing of Cauvery waters.
An appeal to all the Kannada friends... pic.twitter.com/5rJWMixnZF
— rajamouli ss (@ssrajamouli) April 20, 2017
The Kannada outfits have called for a "Bengaluru bandh" on April 28 when the movie releases across India. Now that Sathyaraj has apologised, the pro-Kannada outfits are likely to call off the protest,
"...We are not against the film or Rajamouli. Until Sathyaraj tenders unconditional apology, our protest will continue," Vatal Nagaraj, who heads 'Kannada Okoota', an umbrella organisation of Kannada bodies, had said, in response to Rajamouli's appeal.
"There will be a Bengaluru bandh on April 28 and also there will be protests across the state. We can't accept anything else other than apology by Sathyaraj."
Sathyaraj, who plays the role of Kattappa in the multi- lingual drama, made the alleged anti-Kannada comments during the Cauvery River row between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka about nine years ago. Sathyaraj is from Tamil Nadu.
The film's producer, Shobu Yarlagadda, hoped the issue would be resolved amicably.
"This is a very sensitive issue, and I don't want to comment much on it. The only thing I want to say is - we will resolve the issue amicably in the interest of all concerned," he had said.
Bahubali 2: The Conclusion, starring Telugu superstar Prabhas and Rana Daggubati besides Sathyaraj, has been produced at a budget of Rs 250 crore. The trailer, a high-on-VFX visual spectacle, has already generated huge expectations and garnered over 46 million views on YouTube.
The first part collected over Rs 650 crore.
What did Sathyaraj exactly say in 2008
According to www.telegu360.com, in 2008, Tamil Nadu govt. initiated the Hogenakkal Integrated Drinking Water Project despite the Karnataka government was vehemently opposing it. At that time, then members of the Nadigar Sangam openly rebuked the Karnataka government and the key protesters against the TN project. In his speech then, Sathyaraj allegedly called Kannada activist Vatal Nagaraj , “a comedian”.
The event saw Tamil stars Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan in attendance. Sathyaraj’s speech drew huge applause from the audience.
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