The big stars of Indian film industry are expected to attend the inaugural ceremony of Kannada actor Dr Rajkumar's memorial in Bangalore on 29 November.
Besides Kannada film stars, superstar Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Amitabh Bachchan, Telugu actor Chiranjeevi, Mammootty and Mohanlal are likely to be invited for the opening ceremony of the memorial to be held at Kanteerava Studio. Actors Ambareesh and Saroja Devi will also be reportedly invited for the occasion.
Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah will personally send invites to these stars.
"Chief minister Siddaramaiah will be writing letters to these stars inviting them for the inauguration. Rajkumar personally knew all these actors, hence the government is inviting them besides actors from Kannada film industry," information minister R Roshan Baig was quoted as saying by The Times of India.
There are two phases of the Rajkumar memorial. The first phase of the memorial is set up in Kanteerava Studio and it has been developed at a cost of ₹7 crore on 2.5 acres of land. The work on the first phase of the memorial was monitored by Dr Rajkumar Pratisthana, a committee formed by members of the actor's family members, writers and bureaucrats. The group was formed eight years ago to overlook the development of the memorial.
The first phase of the memorial will have an open auditorium, mini water body, landscaping and bronze bust statue of Rajkumar. As many as 40 photographs of the actor's select movies will be on display.
Meanwhile, the work on the second phase of the memorial, which will have a multi-purpose auditorium and museum is expected to commence soon, reported The Hindu.
On the day of the inaugural ceremony, Karnataka CM will declare the memorial open, after which special entertainment programmes are likely to take place at Bangalore Palace Grounds in the evening.
Dr Rajkumar, who was born in 1929, has starred in over 200 films, including "Kasthuri Nivaasa," "Bangaradha Manushya," "Bhagyavantharu" and "Shabdavedi" among others. The legendary actor was kidnapped in 2000 by Sandalwood smuggler and forest brigand Veerappan and was later freed after spending weeks in a forest. There were reports claiming that a huge sum was paid as ransom to Veerappan for Rajkumar's release, though the actor had denied it.
In 2006, the actor passed away at his home after a heart attack. The actor's mortal remains have been buried at Kanteerava Studio in Bangalore.