HD Kumaraswamy is all set to take oath as the Chief Minister of Karnataka for the second time. His JD(S) is forming the next government in the state with the support of Congress. Interestingly, politics was never his choice initially as he was keen in films since childhood.
HD Kumaraswamy's journey in Films
HD Kumaraswamy, who is popularly known as Kumaranna among his fans and well-wishers, was a movie buff and a big fan of legendary Sandalwood actor late Rajkumar. He used to look after Channambika Theatre in Hassan district before he started distributing and producing movies. People are now hoping that he would show special interest towards addressing the issues pertaining to Sandalwood.
"Kumaraswamy was himself an exhibitor, distributor and producer and he is aware of all the problems that were are facing today. Hopefully, he will not just address the issues related to film industry, but also about Kannada language," Sa Ra Govindu, the president of Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce, told International Business Times.
A delegation from the film industry will meet HD Kumaraswamy once he takes oath as Chief Minister of Karnataka. In fact, JD(S), in its manifesto, assured the industry that it would come up with a film city in Ramanagara, the village where 'Sholay' was shot. The industry is confident that he would keep his promise.
"He is a down-to-earth person," says KM Veeresh, journalist and film producer who knows Kumaraswamy from his initial days in the film industry and politics. Recalling an incident, "I had met him at an event and informally invited him to launch my exhibition. I was not aware of the protocol or procedure to invite a Chief Minister then. Yet to everybody's surprise he turned up and inaugurated the event," he says.
Further, he adds that Kumaraswamy is a rebel by nature. "He will not hesitate to raise his voice if he thinks that something is wrong. He formed a parallel producers' guild when the existing council failed to address their real issues in 2003," Veeresh adds.
Many in Sandalwood say that the film industry had a good relationship with Siddaramaiah and they are confident that it would continue with Kumaranna, who is a familiar face to them. The subsidies for several movies have not been cleared by the state government for over two years, which the Kannada film industry wants the new Chief Minister to address soon.
HD Kumaraswamy has produced five movies so far and Surya Vamsha remains his biggest hit in terms of ticket sales. "This was the film that redefined Vishnu's career. Thereafter, his dhoti-clad avatar became popular," claimed an industry insider.
The producer had the credit of taking 70+ members from 'Galate Aaliyandru' team to Mauritius. "Shooting abroad was a dream for many filmmakers as it was very expensive. But Kumaranna took the entire team to the foreign land which was a very big news in the year 2000," said a veteran journalist.
His previous movie Jaguar, the launch pad of his son Nikhil Kumar, is his most-expensive movie till date.
Controversial by Nature
HD Kumaraswamy too had his share of controversies. In 2001, he had produced Jithendra, heavily modelled on Upendra's hit movie Upendra. The Jaggesh-starrer movie had slammed the Uppi's theme, idea and dialogues. It was probably for the first time in Kannada where a film was made to criticise another actor's flick.
After the success of Surya Vamsha, HD Kumaraswamy had claimed that he produced the movie when Vishnuvardhan had lost his market and his flick gave a new lease of life to Sahasa Simha, though his remarks had reportedly hurt the fans of Vishnuvardhan.
HD Kumaraswamy had slammed Rajkumar family stating that there was pressure on theatre owners to replace his film with Shivaraj Kumar's Chigurida Kanasu. Till then, there was hardly any instance of Raj family being criticised in the open.
Lastly, HD Kumaraswamy's second marriage with actress Radhika Kumaraswamy more than ten years ago was also criticised by his rivals.