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Baahubali in Bengaluru: Pro-Kannada groups call for bandh on film’s release date


Actor Sathyaraj's alleged comments on the Cauvery river issue have created obstacles for the film in Karnataka. 

Keyur Seta

MLA Vatal Nagraj had recently called for a ban on SS Rajamouli’s hugely awaited Baahubali: The Conclusion in Karnataka. He, along with a number of pro-Kannada groups, are irked by actor Sathyaraj, who stars in the film, for allegedly hurting the sentiments of people from Karnataka through his comments on the old Cauvery river issue. 

Why Baahubali 2 may not release in Karnataka because of Kattappa

Now, Vatal Nagraj has announced a bandh (shutting down) in Bengaluru on 28 April, the release date of the film.

Speaking about the issue, he said, “The entire city will be shut from dawn to dusk expressing solidarity with the cause. Our dissent is not against the movie Bahubali but against Sathyaraj who had made derogatory comments on Kannadigas and Karnataka leaders. We want him to apologise to the people of Karnataka and only then will we allow the screening.” 

Sathyaraj in Baahubali

Rajamouli believes his film is wrongly targeted because the actor had made the alleged comments nine years ago. He had recently said, “The saddest thing is people tend to ignore, tend to think it’s a recent issue. The thing is — the comment was made nine years ago, so many of his films released, at least 30 of his films released during this time, Baahubali Part 1 released. There was no objection at that time. It (the ban) is suddenly out of the blue.” 

There are reports of Rajamouli meeting Kannada actor Ambareesh and Karnataka Film Chamber president, Sa Ra Govind to intervene in the issue but to no avail. Furthermore, an event in Bengaluru where the film's cast was supposed to be present today has been cancelled. 

Sathyaraj plays the character of Kattappa, that became a rage after the release of the first film, Baahubali: The Beginning (2015). It is speculated that the pro-Kannada organisations are cashing in on his popularity now since they didn’t have any objections before the release of the first film. 

The actor had also irked the pro-Kannada organisations through his comments on the issue in last September. But the protests started only in March this year, the time whent the promotional activities of the film had just begun.