New Delhi: Actor-turned-politician Rajinikanth, whose new movie Kaala is facing opposition from pro-Kannada groups over his Cauvery remarks, has appealed to Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy to provide security at theatres that wished to screen the film, which will be released across the country tomorrow.
In an attempt to reach out to the protesters, the Tamil superstar made an appeal to the state film chambers in Kannada: "To our Kannada brothers, I appeal to you, I have done no wrong. So for those who want to watch the film please do not disrupt it. I humbly appeal to you to not trouble the film goers."
He further added,"The Film Chambers is supposed to ensure that there's no problem for distributors. It is not right that the Karnataka Film Chamber demands Kaala ban."
Several pro-Kannada groups threatened to stall the movie if it is screened despite an earlier "ban" on it by the Karnataka Film Chambers of Commerce. A section of the film fraternity in the state has admitted to being hugely upset by the superstar's remarks on Cauvery water row. Rajinkanth had said that Karnataka should release Tamil Nadu’s share of water to the state, drawing criticism from many in Karnataka, including Kumaraswamy.
A request for security was also part of Tuesday's court order, which left room for theatres to screen the movie if they wanted. The state government has assured the court it would be done. But Chief Minister Kumaraswamy, while saying he would comply with the court's order, suggested "as an individual" that the timing wasn't right for the film's release.
On Monday, fellow actor and now politician Kamal Haasan met Karnataka Chief Minister Kumaraswamy to discuss the Cauvery water distribution issue and found himself at the receiving end of much criticism for not bringing up the matter of Rajinikanth’s film not being released in the state.
Acting on the Supreme Court's direction, the Centre finally constituted the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CMA) to address the long-standing dispute over sharing of river water among Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry and issued a gazette notification.