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Prakash Raj: PM’s silence is chilling, but I never said I would return National awards

I am not a fool, said the actor while referring to reports about him returning his awards.

Keyur Seta

Actor Prakash Raj made headlines for criticizing prime minister Narendra Modi for his silence on the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh and for following people on Twitter who are celebrating her murder. The Singham (2011) actor was speaking at an event.

There were also reports about Raj offering to return his five National awards. However, the actor said he had no intention of doing any such thing.

In a video shared on Twitter, Prakash Raj said, “Well, I can just laugh as I see the scrolling on news channels that Prakash Raj has decided to give back his National awards. I am not such a fool to give back the National awards which have been given to me for my body of work and which I am very proud of. I just wonder why this comes (sic).”

Raj, however, stood his ground on his criticism of those celebrating Gauri's and Kalburgi's murders. “Coming to the point, yes I would like to own up certain things. I was on a stage where I was addressing a group of youngsters. And when there is a discussion about the recent killing of Gauri Lankesh or MM Kalburgi or these sort of killings, my reaction was we don’t know who has killed them. There is a police department and the SIT which is getting into it. But we can see who is celebrating. I am pained, I am taken aback by the celebrations of an inhuman killing (sic),” he said.

“By the very fact that I vented out my pain and anguish towards those people who are celebrating, I have been trolled, I have been used [subjected to] bad words on my elements. Okay, that’s all in the game and I take it. At least I know who are what (sic).”

He also reiterated his disappointment with the PM. “At the same time my question is if such people are being followed by the prime minister and he is not taking a stand on them or commenting, as a citizen of this country, I am disturbed, hurt and afraid of the silence of my prime minister (sic),” he added.

The actor also clarified that he wishes to remain apolitical. “I am not talking about a person from some other party. I don’t belong to any political party. I am a citizen of this country. I am not talking to any party. I am talking to my prime minister and I say your silence is chilling and I am hurt by it. This is what I said. I think I have a right to say this. It’s as simple as that,” he said.

Prakash Raj again tried to clear himself from the National awards controversy. “This whole halla gulla and trying to make it big by saying Prakash Raj wants to reject his National awards in protest, this is something I have not said (sic),” he signed off.

Watch Prakash Raj's clarification: