In a development to theBaahubali 2: The Conclusionrelease drama in Karnataka, actor Sathyaraj has apologized for the derogatory comments he made against Kannadigas nine years ago, when Tamilians were reportedly assaulted in the state over the Cauvery issue. The apology from the veteran actor, who plays Kattappa in the Baahubali franchise, came after pro-Kannada outfits threatened that they would not allow the film to release under any circumstances, unless he tendered an unconditional apology for his anti-Kannadiga remarks.
In a video statement in Tamil, Sathyaraj 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’m not against Kannadigas or Karnataka.” In support of that statement, the actor gave the example of Shekar, his assistant of over 30 years, who is a Kannadiga. He added, “Nine years ago, during the Cauvery protests, Tamilians in Karnataka were targeted and there were protests asking for stalling the release of Tamil movies. During a meeting of the film industry to condemn this, many people spoke out with passion against the move. I was one among them. In retaliation, my effigies were burnt in Karnataka.”
Citing the reason for apologizing now, he said, “I don’t want the consequences of my actions to affect the hard work of thousands of people. I also have a duty to protect those Kannadiga distributors who have bought the rights for the release of the film.”