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Gowda Grandson Movie 'Jaguar' Rakes in Moolah, Critics Point to Cauvery Sentiments

D P Satish | CNN-News18 dp_satish

First published: October 13, 2016, 2:15 PM IST | Updated: October 13, 2016
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Gowda Grandson Movie 'Jaguar' Rakes in Moolah, Critics Point to Cauvery Sentiments
A film poster of Jaguar (Picture courtesy: Nagarjun D)

NEW DELHI: A newly released Kannada movie is doing great, but critics allege it has less to do with the plot and more to do with politics.

'Jaguar', starring former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda’s grandson Nikhil Gowda, has reportedly raked in Rs 15 crore in the first 5 days of the release – its whole budget is estimated at Rs 20 crore.

Well, it so happens that the movie is doing particularly well in parts of Karnataka – the old Mysore belt that also includes Bengaluru – that had come to a standstill during the recent Cauvery agitation forcing Deve Gowda’s critics to accuse the family of using Cauvery sentiments for commercial ends.

The movie is produced by Nikhil's father HD Kumaraswamy, Deve Gowda's son and former state chief minister. A potboiler revenge-crusade story as its plot that is also Nikhil's debut, Jaguar was released across 300 theatres in Karnataka on October 9.

If the hero's grandfather is a former PM and father is a former CM, why Jaguar, even a Maruti car will do well," Sharada Naik, a state BJP leader posted on Facebook kicking up a storm.

Naik told News18 that she is being trolled relentlessly for the comments. "They threatened me. But I refused to withdraw my comments. I know how they are marketing the movie," she said.

An anguished Kumaraswamy trashed the criticism saying the movie has nothing to do with Cauvery.

"I am a film producer. I have produced several movies in the past. 'Jaguar' was in the works for a year now. We released it during Dussehra holidays because most people watch movies during festivals. It has nothing to do with the Cauvery agitation. It is a coincidence," he told News18.

Political opponents, a few of whom didn't want to be quoted, accuse that the Gowda family is trying to sell the goodwill that patriarch Deve Gowda earned while spearheading the recent agitation against Supreme Court verdict directing Karnataka to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu.

After Karnataka dilly-dallied despite two reminders, the apex court had issued a stern warning to the state putting the political class on the backfoot. A fast by the 83-year-old former PM requesting the SC to understand the compulsions of a water-starved state had brought the whole state together, and Karnataka managed to defuse the situation by releasing water to TN and stave off a much more serious suggestion to institute an interstate board to manage Cauvery waters.

JDS chief spokesman and MLA YSV Datta said people of the state were grateful to the "sacrifices made by Deve Gowda."

Deve Gowda is a living legend. He does not need to do such silly things People may have gone to watch Jaguar out of curiosity. But there is no connection between Cauvery and Jaguar," he said, adding that Jaguar, he believed, is a good movie.

Senior Gowda who is not known for his love for movies walked out of the theatre after watching it for just 20 minutes. Speaking to media he said "I have other engagements. I have to go. My grandson has a bright future in cinema world."

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