Sathyaraj has apologised for his comments against Kannadigas, which he made nine years ago during a protest over the Cauvery issue organised by Nadigar Sangam in Chennai. He has thus tried to put an end to the uncertainty that was hovering over the release of Baahubali 2 in Karnataka over the last few weeks.
In a recorded video speech, Sathyaraj has said that he had noticed that his comments have hurt the Kannadigas. "I am not against Karnataka and Kannadigas. This is evident when you realise that my assistant for the past 30 years has been a Kannadiga named Shekhar," he said in the clip.
The 62-year-old actor claimed that he made the speech when the Tamils were targeted in Karnataka way back in 2008. Like many others who participated in the pro-Tamil protests, he also spoke with passion against the attacks on Tamils in Karnataka. He recalled that his effigies were burnt in retaliation.
"Since then, my 30 films have been released in Karnataka without any trouble," Sathyaraj said. The actor says that he was also offered Kannada films, but he could not take them up due to other commitments.
Sathyaraj continued, "Some of my words in the nine-year-old clip have pained Kannadigas for which I am giving an apology. My deeds should not affect the hard work of thousands of people who worked in Baahubali," The actor believes that he has a responsibility to safeguard the interest of Kannada distributors, who bought the rights of Baahubali.
The actor asked the Tamils to understand the reason behind his apology. "But I promise to fight for the Tamils issue, be it related to Sri Lanka or Cauvery," he pointed out. Sathyaraj ended with a suggestion to producers who want to sign him up: Think twice before taking him on board as his presence might affect the movie.
Meanwhile, Kirik Keerthi has welcomed the news. "I happy that Sathyaraj has apologised for his anti-Kannada comments. It is better late than never. I am sure this will be a lesson for others, who talk low about us," the Bigg Boss 4 Kannada contestant told International Business Times, India.
Several Kannada organisations have also welcomed the development and said that Baahubali 2 will now be released without any trouble.