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If you are upset with Sathyaraj, please don't let that affect your love for Baahubali: Rajamouli

The director appealed to protestors that any protests will only affect 'the technicians, crew and producers', not the actor Sathyaraj himself. 

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Manigandan KR

Even as pro-Kannada groups called for a bandh on 28 April, the release date of Baahubali: The Conclusion, the film's director SS Rajamouli has made an appeal to Kannada audiences, urging them to support the sequel.

In a statement addressed to Kannada audiences, the director said, "As you all know, in this movie, Mr Sathyaraj plays a vital role and his words causing distress to Kannada people is something we were made aware of recently. I believe that it's my responsibility to talk about this situation. His work in the movie  and what he said are not related. It was his personal opinion. He is not the producer of the movie. Story, screenplay, dialogues and direction are not departments that he was a part of or had any say in. He is an actor who essayed a role with us and that is all."

Rajamouli pointed out that if Baahubali's screening was stopped, Sathyaraj would not be affected in any way. "The people who will be affected are the ones who worked on the film over the last five years — the technicians, the crew, the producers, and the Karnataka distributors, not to mention all the movie lovers who appreciate good cinema," he said.

The director further added, "What Mr Sathyaraj said is his own, personal, opinion and has no bearing on the film. We are not endorsing or showcasing his personal opinions in our film. This is what we believe and would like you, our fans and well wishers to understand. Taking this as a responsibility upon ourselves, we (i.e.) Arka Mediaworks and I called Mr Sathyaraj over the phone, where we explained the situation to him. Beyond this, we don't know what to do. What Mr Sathyaraj said was 9 years ago. After which, many films that he acted in and produced were released in Karnataka. Even part one, Baahubali: The Beginning was released and was supported by all of you and in the same way, I am hoping you will support us when the second part releases."

Stating that the audiences had supported and encouraged him from his first film Student No 1 (2001) right upto Baahubali, the director said, "For that, I am humbled and grateful. So, this is my appeal to you all. If you are upset with Mr Sathyaraj, please don't let that affect your love and support for Baahubali."

"I hope and wish that our Kannada movie lovers will accept and support Baahubali: The Conclusion. I want your love and support for me to continue for as long as I make films," he said.