New Delhi: Superstar Rajinikant, who was caught in the crossfire between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, over his ‘anti-Kannadiga’ statements has apologised and appealed to the people of Karnataka to allow the release of his latest film Kuselan.
Speaking to Kannada channels, Rajinikant said, “This incident has taught me a lesson. I shall never commit such a mistake again. Please allow the release of Kuselan in Karnataka."
"The people who are opposing me are also children of Karnataka. They are doing it for their state. Please, please forget the past and whatever I have said. Allow me to release my film. I am ready to help Kannadigas also,” the actor added.
Activists had earlier vowed to block the release of the actor’s forthcoming film in Karnataka, saying the Tamil superstar should issue a public apology for his ‘anti-Kannadiga’ statements.
The threat had come days after the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC) had given its nod for the film’s release in the state. Kuselan will be released on Friday.
Kannada organisations led by Karnataka Rakshana Vedike had demanded a public apology from Rajinikant for making strong remarks against them and the state during the Hogenakal agitation.
Protestors from the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike had shouted slogans against Rajinikant at Bangalore theatres and three prominent theaters in the state had even declared that they would not screen the film.
Rajinikant had even sent a regret letter in Kannada, but the activists wanted a public apology from him. However, this apology may create problems for him in Tamil Nadu.
Meanwhile, tickets for Kuselan's screening on Friday are already sold out.
The Karnataka Film Chambers also held a meeting on Thursday to sort the issue.
Rajini’s troubled past with Karnataka
On Monday, Rajinikant had written a letter to KFCC president and actress Jayamala to ensure that his film got a release in Karnataka on August 1, along with its launch in Tamil Nadu. He had clarified that he had never intended to hurt the sentiments of Kannadigas.
Terming the superstar’s letter just a publicity stunt, former legislators Vatal Nagaraj and Prabhakara Reddy at a press conference had asked Rajinikant to come out with a public apology.
Some Kannada organisations had been demanding that Kuselan be released in the state only after a seven-week moratorium as Rajinikant had allegedly hurt the sentiments of Kannadigas by supporting Tamil Nadu on a row over a drinking water project in Hogenekkal, on the border between the two states.
The superstar had joined the Tamil film fraternity in a daylong protest fast in April against Karnataka’s objections to the Rs13.3-billion Hogenekkal project that is expected to benefit about three million people in two Tamil Nadu districts.
Karnataka is opposed to the project, saying its share of the Cauvery river waters will be affected.
The actor, in his letter to Jayamala, had stressed that he had never intended to hurt the feelings of Kannadigas by speaking at the rally. He also added that he did not want his fans in Krantaka to miss out on his film.
(With inputs from IANS)